Post Donny Craic

Sunderland bounced back from their horror show against Coventry with a controlled and professional win against Donny. Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “We decided quite early in the week the team we were going to play, and it wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction from last weekend. Jack and Tom have played a lot of minutes this season and have played a big part in us having a good season. Last weekend was the first time they’d played together on a losing team, which is remarkable. They’ve put a lot into the season, and sometimes you make a call not just on the performance level but how draining it is mentally. Jimmy and Alim have continued to do things properly when they've been out of the team and have deserved the opportunity. All you can ask then is that they take it, and I thought they both did that. I’m pleased for Ozturk from an individual perspective because of how he’s conducted himself,” said Ross. “He’s popular in the changing room and he’s worked hard every day. When I made the decision to play him, I spoke to him early in the week about it. I have worked with him before (at Hearts), so I know what he’s capable of. To an extent, his limited opportunities at times have been because the team’s continued to produce results over the course of the season. I knew he would handle it because he’s played in big games before, it was just physically a big ask and you saw that towards the end of the game when he was fatigued a little bit.”

Ross also revealed that Charlie Wyke was ill before the game and nearly missed out. “He wasn’t feeling good before the game,” said Ross. “He had a migraine and he was sick in the changing room. I actually didn't think he would play. Kaz Sterling went out and warmed up because I thought we would have to make that change to the team-sheet in the warm-up, but he started to feel a little bit better. He’s shown what we thought he would do when we brought him to the club. That's the reason we brought him in. It’s very obvious to say that at this stage of the season, it’s all about results so I would have taken any sort of win,” he added. “But to win and play in the manner we did against a good team is very pleasing on the back of losing for the first time at home. It was sore for us, so to respond as we did was very pleasing.”