SAFC will appeal against Alim Ozturk’s red card so he can face Portsmouth on Thursday. Jack Ross said: “My reaction at the time was that it was impossible to tell at first if it was a foul, but my only criticism was if it was a goal scoring opportunity? I think the touch has taken him the wrong side of the box. Having watched it again I am still of that opinion. We will appeal on that basis – I don’t think it was clear and obvious. I may always say that but I take a balanced view on it. You can’t do anything about it once it’s happened, then it’s about finding a way to try and win the game. I think we knew coming into two-legged ties that first leg tends to be a little bit tense. The first-half of the game was that and second was better. You would take any sort of advantages before the game going into the second leg and particularly how the game panned out we are pleased. We brought Chris on knowing he can bring that bit of quality, either creating or scoring, and we were on the front foot then, in the ascendency and he is always capable of that. You want to capitalise on that at the time. I felt the crowd were terrific second-half and came to life second half. The whole game was like that. We started to play better, came to life in the second-half the crowd responded and played a huge part in helping us see out the game. The game management was good, but we know the atmosphere helps us.’’
Chris Maguire was delighted to be involved and get the crucial goal that takes us into the second leg as favourites. Maguire said: “It’s a battle of who wants it. We felt we were due and owed them one. It’s halfway done and a step in the right direction. It’s given us the vital win we needed. I was disappointed not to start but that’s the depth we’ve got. I knew I would take my chance if it came.”
Jimmy Dunne also spoke about Alim Ozturk’s controversial red card. Dunne said: “It shouldn’t have been a red card. There were other players crowding around the ball, so I felt Alim was really unlucky. It’s more about concentration coming on at the end., I was just happy to be part of getting half the job done. I’m happy I got something on the free-kick (when Evans’ set-piece strike hit the crossbar). Little inches like that have come to cost us in the past, but we’ve got a bit of luck this time.”
SAFC Player Ratings
Jon McLaughlin (6/10); Had nothing to do today, but distribution was significantly better.
Luke O’Nien (6/10): Fairly anonymous in the first half but grew into it as the game went on.
Alim Ozturk (8/10): Fantastic from the Turk. Unfortunate to be sent off and other than that, won everything put in front of him. Proper no nonsense defender.
Tom Flanagan (7/10): Calm and collected in possession. Timed every tackle perfectly just like his partner.
Bryan Oviedo (7/10): Great first half and had Jamal Lowe in his pocket all game. Put a few good crosses in and linked with Morgan well.
Lewis Morgan (6/10): Worked hard but struggled against Thompson on Pompeys right hand side.
Max Power (5/10): Really struggled to impact the game but wasn’t for lack of trying. Covered a lot of ground to be fair to him.
Lee Cattermole (8/10): Marshalled the midfield and controlled the tempo of the game. Looked a cut above, as he’s done all season.
George Honeyman (6/10): The typical Honeyman performance. Worked hard and buzzed around but didn’t have much end product.
Lynden Gooch (7/10): Sunderland’s main threat in the first half as very few chances were made.
Charlie Wyke (7/10): Battled away but missed two golden chances.
Jimmy Dunne (7/10): Solid when brought on in place of Ozturk.
Chris Maguire (8/10): Class. All hail the King.