Sunderland climbed into second place for the first time since early December after a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion and Jack Ross had his say on the match: “For us, we always want to win games here, I've said that all season. I've got to temper that by saying nine days ago we came out of Wembley, gutted at losing a final, fourth in the table. Nine days later we're second with a game-in-hand on some of the teams around that top part of the table. I think the [players] pushed and pushed and pushed tonight, we're quite stretched at the moment and that was obvious, then we had to make a change early in the game. We've had to work so hard for these points and even the way the game panned out on Saturday, a lot of energy went into winning late on. Tonight, the game was open and stretched. We knew the way we set up it was going to be like that, playing against a good team and a team that are good in forward areas.”
"We accepted that in the hope that we would almost outgun them, it could have gone that way but equally it could have gone the other way. Burton created opportunities through the game, I couldn't say that it was all one-way traffic. We had a couple of really clear-cut ones and when you hit the woodwork a couple of times, it becomes a little bit frustrating. But I'm just trying to lift the players in that respect, I don't think they could have pushed anymore, and I think that Burton are a good side. They've got games to play against teams in the top parts of the table and they'll be tough matches [for the opposition]. It’s going to be physically and mentally challenging for all the teams at the top," he added. But I keep saying, where we are now and where we were nine days ago, it's a big plus for us. A big step in the right direction. We come back here on Saturday knowing a record here is very good. We've got three home games left, we can be near a points total that is edging very close to 90, and plus 90 gives you a really good chance of achieving promotion."
Goal scorer Jack Baldwin shared his thoughts on the disappointing draw at the Stadium of Light: “Frustrating overall, we had a lot of chances tonight and we conceded a few chances, but you look at the chances we had – it’s a frustrating night. It’s always great getting a goal and in front of the home fans is even better unfortunately it wasn’t a goal to go ahead. I’m so frustrated after that; we’ve got to get our heads and were in a good position to kick on. We were on the back foot after they went ahead, but I thought we played some half decent stuff in the first half. It’s all about being patient at home the fans want to see exciting football and us taking chances but at times we need to bide our time and try and draw them on to us a bit, to be fair to them they tried to press and made things difficult for us. [The goal] game at an important time and it was important to go into half time level.”
“[On the response from Wembley] the gaffer has mentioned that in the changing room afterwards that it’s been a big week after the disappointment of last Sunday to bounce back with the two wins and a point that could have been three. We’ve got to take the positives and we find ourselves in a good position. We want to make this place a fortress, while were on our home turf we’d like to take the advantage and we’ve got to look to put ourselves in a good position.”
Jack Ross also gave an injury update on Dylan McGeough. “It was a muscular issue around his abdomen/hip area, but that was only in the brief conversation I had with him when he came off the park,” said Ross. “I haven’t yet spoken to him or the medical staff post-match. It was frustrating for him and frustrating for me because it potentially rules another player out. But it could be something that settles very quickly or it could be something that rules him out. The only ones that would potentially be available for Saturday would be Lee, possibly, and Aiden, possibly. There is a very, very outside for Chris Maguire, but the rest [Lynden Gooch, Duncan Watmore, and Reece James] will be out beyond Saturday. It’s tough at the moment but it happens with the accumulation of fixtures that we’ve had that you will start to pick up more injuries.”