Post Accy Excuses

Sunderland had to come from two goals behind to salvage a point against Accrington Stanley at the SOL on Friday evening as Jack Ross’ side poor form continued. The manager had this to say afterwards: “There has to be an element of realism about not winning these games,” said Ross. “I can’t continue to say it doesn’t matter, of course it does. If you look at the number of draws, then the reality is that if you had won half of them and drawn half of them, you would be in a better position, and a position that would probably be right up there. You can’t affect what’s gone through – we just need to continue having faith in what we’re doing and make sure we capitalise on opportunities because we’ve created a lot more in the last couple of games. We can’t get caught up in a little bit of the hysteria that will go around is drawing games. That’s easier said than done, but if people are going to level criticism, level it at me rather than my players. They’ve been immensely resilient this season, and they could easily have buckled today. I’m sure other teams and players have done that in the past, but they didn’t, which is to their immense credit.”

The manager also praised Chris Maguire’s contribution. “Chris is a really good player, and he has really good quality. I’m delighted with his response to getting back involved again tonight, and I would hope that’s testament to how he’s felt even through the games where he’s not been involved as much. I still speak to him all the time, and things are explained. He’s got to make sure he’s at those levels all the time, whether it be in training or in games, because when he’s at those levels, he’s a massive asset to us. We’ve seen that from the impact he had on the game tonight. From a positive side of it, when you have a player who has been frustrated at being left out, but then comes on in those circumstances and responds in that manner, then hopefully that’s reflective of what you’ve managed to put together. I don’t want to be repetitive and sit here all the time and say it’s frustrating, but it is. A bit like Tuesday (when Sunderland drew 1-1 with Blackpool), it’s a peculiar set of emotions because for most of the game we played quite well, but for a short spell it was the polar opposite. It was a bit like that on Tuesday too. There was a 15 or 20-minute spell where it was the complete opposite to prior to the goal and in the second half in the main. In those periods, it’s about making sure that we are a little bit more resilient, but then the character and resilience from the players to come back was very obvious again.”