Matchday News

Jack Ross has been discussing incoming transfers and his desire to bolster his attacking options with a poacher. “I think even the aftermath of last weekend, it’s something we don’t do a lot, we don’t really look for excuses or look for outs, if you like, when we don’t put up a positive result. But we played against a team who are second in the table last week without our top scorer or our captain and we didn’t mention it after the game, but that was the reality of it. I understand that because we’ve not scored freely in the last six to eight weeks and naturally, when you’re ahead in the game, if you score the second then obviously it makes it more difficult for teams to come back. I think the Charlton game probably highlighted that because we were so good in the opening period. Yet, sometimes you have to temper that with the fact that we’re the only team in England that have scored in every league game this season. So, that is an incredible statistic and a fantastic record. We loathe to be too critical of what we’ve done in forward areas this season when you look at that record. However, this is a critical point of the season in terms of what you’re able to put in place for the second half of it. So, going back to what you mentioned, it’s important that we at least maintain what we have in forward areas, which is obviously attributing to Josh’s situation and ideally strengthen it and bring others in that we feel can give us more goal-scoring opportunities, if you like. We know we have to score more frequently than we have done in recent games. And what we really need is a poacher, for want of a better word. It's not a huge issue, but it is more a case of being more clinical with the opportunities that are coming our way. Josh has had a fantastic season but around him, we have only really had midfielders who have scored a few goals and that's why we are so desperate to bring in another out-and-out striker. I think we've got some very good attacking players such as Lynden [Gooch], Chris [Maguire], and Aiden [McGeady], but we can't rely on them to be prolific. Bringing in a striker is the priority for us.”

The gaffer then chatted about outgoing players. When asked about the possibility of Bryan Oviedo departing, he said: "From a managerial point of view, I'm not actively encouraging him out of the door because he has made a contribution this season. The dynamics are probably more for the people above me in terms of how it affects the running of the club. But to my knowledge there has been no approach or communication from anyone about Bryan so, as things stand, I just assume he is going to be part of my squad between now and the end of the season - although that can change over the next 13-14 days. There has been nothing regarding any of our players. No interest, no approaches. That makes it easy for me for now. The hardest thing for a manager is if you lose any important players late in the window because it gives you less time to replace them."

Meanwhile, Wigan boss Paul Cook has confirmed that his club have had rejected two bids from SAFC for Will Grigg. He said: "Sunderland, I believe, have made two offers now, and they both fell short of where we would be with regards to Will Grigg. It’s a debate I really don’t want to have but, until the window closes at the end of the month, this won’t go away. As a manager I can only reiterate that I have no desire to sell Will."

In other news, our allocation for the trip to Wycombe Wanderers, which was set at 1,800 has been increased by 900. Wycombe general manager Michael Davies said: “Sunderland have sold out every away allocation so far in League 1 and we very much look forward to welcoming their supporters to Adams Park for the very first time. It is our intention to attract the largest possible attendance for what I’m sure will be a fantastic occasion and therefore we have made the decision to accommodate away supporters in the Beechdean Stand in order to maximise ticket sales. We appreciate that this may inconvenience approximately 300 Wycombe fans who hold season tickets in this stand and hope they understand our reasoning for wanting to benefit from a bumper crowd on this occasion, with the added revenue that comes with it. We apologise that their preferred seats won’t be available for this match – the impact on those fans affected was a major consideration during our decision, which was not taken lightly, and we thank them in for advance for their co-operation. Sunderland gave Wycombe a brilliantly warm welcome at the Stadium of Light in November and there was a great deal of mutual respect and appreciation after that match, so we are keen to extend an equally open invitation to their fans to come down to Adams Park, see what we’re all about and enjoy the game with us.”