Sunderland and Walsall will have to meet again a week on Tuesday after a 1-1 bore draw forced an FA Cup replay at the Stadium of Light. Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “I wouldn’t have taken the result at half-time but the way the second half panned out, we would probably have taken it. We looked for the first time this season a little bit leggy. It is maybe understandable given the challenges we have had today, mentally and physically. I am pleased we can continue this run and we are in the draw, I was disappointed with aspects of the performance in the second half. The way the game panned out, it had a very different feel to it today. First half was almost too straightforward for us, we were very dominant, very different to how we expected the game to be like. We didn’t respond to the challenge second half but I will defend my players because of the demands of late, today was the first day it caught up with them a bit.”
Jack Ross also explained Chris Maguire's late withdrawal: "He picked up an injury here late on in the game last week but managed to play against Barnsley Tuesday and was good. He just felt a little bit of discomfort in training yesterday and it got worse overnight, in the warm up he was really struggling with it. I have spoken about the importance of progressing in the FA Cup but equally we have a lot of league games coming up. Our squad was stretched today as well, it was a sensible decision. We have Bryan who can step in, it is not difficult for him, he is good enough and experienced enough. Chris I would hope to be okay for next weekend, George likewise. Dylan [McGeouch] is hopefully back training the beginning of the week."
Captain, George Honeyman was also missing through injury. Ross added: “George picked up an ankle injury late on against Barnsley, he was desperate to play today, we had to be sensible. We have important games coming up.”
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