Sunderland and Portsmouth shared the spoils in yet another 1-1 draw that did neither team any favours as both teams look destined for the playoffs.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “We still have an outside chance of achieving what we want to automatically, albeit a long shot,” said Ross. “But the only way that even becomes a possibility is if we win our game in hand on Tuesday. We’ve had a consistency about everything we’ve done this season, and how we’ve tried to conduct ourselves and prepare, and that will continue to be the case. We want to go and continue the performance level from today into Tuesday, and hopefully win the game, and then see where it takes us at the weekend. Whatever lies ahead for us after that, we will prepare for properly and be ready for. The encouraging thing today is that we’ve produced that level of performance against a good team. If we can do that, not only in the next couple of games, but also if there’s games after that, then we’ll be okay. I couldn’t have asked any more from my players in terms of the performance they gave. They came into the game under big pressure – both teams did – so to produce that level of performance in those circumstances, I’m proud of them for that. It was a frustrating day for us because it’s not an exact science we work in – effort and good performance doesn’t always get you what you deserve. I thought we deserved to win the game, but we haven’t done. We’ll have to dust ourselves down from that, but that group of players couldn’t have done any more to try to win the game. We’ve played a lot already this season,” added Ross. “So that’s a lot of games and a lot of work. Physically and mentally, the players are fine. They’re a fit group and they’ve showed that again today. If anything, you can use that (the workload) as increased motivation because that’s a lot of hard work that you don’t want to go to waste. You want to get what you think you deserve from the season, so they’ll be okay in that respect. They’ve got plenty in the tank.”