Sunderland turned up the temperature at a freezing cold SOL beating Southend United 3 – 0 on Saturday to move within a point of the promotion places and extend their winning streak to four games. A first half header from George Honeyman and a pair of second half thunderbolts from King Chris Maguire and Aiden McGeady sealed the points for Jack Ross’ side who also kept another clean sheet.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “We are learning this league isn’t easy, today’s performance, this type of game, would have caused us problems before. We would have been spooked by it a bit more, against a good side, but we are learning as a club. We have learned not to concede during difficult periods and then we know we will have passages in a game where we will score. The second goal, we felt at half-time, we thought we needed and if we did get it then we could go and control the game. Southend played to get back into it and that opened things up for us. The tangible reward was to keep that clean sheet. It doesn’t surprise me Chris Maguire’s goal because he has the ability, there was no question he could play for this club and that he could handle the expectation. It was about getting him right and that strike today was outstanding. I thought all three goals were good quality.”
Jack Ross also explained that taking Lynden Gooch off was precautionary after his spell out with a hamstring injury. Ross said: "It was a little bit of tightness in the same hamstring. It was just precautionary from his point of view. I was about to make a sub anyway and he was one I was considering bringing off and that made up my mind. He will be okay. When you play in his area of the pitch, there are loads of players I have played with or coached, they catch the eye at one v one but one thing they should be judged on is end product. It is such an important part of playing in that position - goals and assists - and Lynden's numbers are incredible so far this season, a third of the way through. If he replicates that for the rest of the season his numbers will be incredible and he will have made a brilliant contribution. For him and George [Honeyman], it is probably the first time they have had a run of games and feel they are first team regulars, they are responding in the best way."