Grigg Will Come Good

After failing to score in his first three games for Sunderland, Jack Ross reckons it won’t be long until Will Grigg comes good. “I thought Friday’s game was similar to the one on Tuesday really,” said Ross. “It would be a greater concern if, in the last two home games, he hadn’t had any opportunities. It would be a greater concern for me if, as a team, we weren’t creating anything or he wasn’t getting into those positions in the box. In the last couple of games, I’m sure he’ll feel he could have come out with two or three goals. Over the course of the two matches, he’s had chances to do that, but his record and pedigree, and what I’ve seen of him since he’s come here, would suggest that if these chances keep coming, then the goals will start coming as well. There’s that tangible frustration at times that you can feel, and that’s challenging because you can almost touch it. In the periods of the game that don’t go so well, you can feel that frustration. But then the backing we got when we got back into the game on Friday was brilliant, and you can’t have one of those things without the other. You have to be able to deal with the frustration when things aren’t going so well because that’s why you get that level of support when things are going well. It’s just about learning to cope with it for a lot of the players.”

After returning to the side with a man of the match performance against Accrington, Chris Maguire hopes he can get a start against Gillingham on Tuesday. “As a footballer, you want to play,” he said. “These are the types of games you thrive on, live on Sky, 2-0 down, you go out there and change the game, people will be talking about you. But that’s the way the squad is now, people are fighting for their places. The last few weeks have been tough because it’s not nice. The type of player I am and the position I play, you feel like you can always contribute something towards the game. It is difficult, you’re sitting on the side and you can’t influence it. You’ve got to keep the right frame of mind, believe in yourself that when get the chance you can influence it. Hopefully I’ve staked my claim. I’ve got a great relationship with the gaffer, he’s been honest with me and I’ve been honest with him. With the new additions in January people are fighting to get in the 18, never mind the team. He’s told me what I need to do and I think I’ve done that the last couple of weeks. On Friday, I think I did that on the pitch. I feel good, it’s been a case of working hard behind the scenes, getting my head down in training. When you get the chance on the pitch you’ve got to show it, and now it’s up to the manager what he wants to do on Tuesday (when Sunderland host Gillingham). I want to do well at this club and I think the fans can see that,” he added. “I want to get promoted. I want to play in that Stadium in front of that crowd, and I feel I’ve got the quality to go out and show it. The fans have had a tough time, so you can understand their passion. At the end, they can see the fighting spirit, I think it’s different from a couple of seasons ago. It’s not a great start (to the game) from us but the fight and desire we showed to come back, we could probably have won it. But it’s a point towards our goal. We’ve only been beaten twice this season but a lot of those have been draws. If you win a few of them the table looks very different and you’re probably ahead in the league. We’re still in contention (for automatic promotion), we know what we need to do and a point is better than nothing.”