Sunderland picked up their first win of the season in the League Cup at Accrington thanks to goals from Marc McNulty, Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke. We now travel to Burnley in the next round.
Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “I said there were parts of the game we were disappointed with on Saturday, but in the second half I thought we got the fundamentals better and we carried that into tonight. You need to do that against a team in this league, then you hope you have the quality you have will come through. I thought that was the case tonight. We created a lot of chances. I was frustrated when we conceded because I thought we had control of the game – we have to learn from that – but then the reaction to conceding was good. We were always going to make changes, but the start to the season has been a bit frustrating, so I think players recognise without me telling them that there were opportunities for them to impress tonight and make my job more difficult in terms of the teams I pick moving forward. It’s pleasing that they all contributed. Then you add to that the fact that the players that came off the bench also had a positive impact as well. I’m not going to downplay the importance of McNulty) getting that goal. Strikers can come to clubs and their all-round contribution can be good, but ultimately, they’ll be judged on goals. Ultimately, that’s why they’re brought to the club. For him to add to his all-round good play so far by scoring the first goal and hitting the bar is good, and then the third is why we brought him as well. I’ve known him for a long time and watched a lot of him, and I know he does that really well for a striker. His awareness and unselfishness to set other people up, he’s done that throughout his career, and he’s done it for that third goal really well.”
Ross also spoke about his search for a left-back and gave an injury update: “We’re still trying to get the right one in,” he said. “We suffered a little bit, the Championship and Premier League window shut last week, we had four we believed we had a chance of getting and they all moved to Championship club. It was one of those days for us. We knew it was unlikely but could happen and it did happen. It’s not back to the drawing board, we’ve been working hard at it and it’s an area of the pitch where we know we need more options. We saw that tonight, in fairness to Conor McLaughlin we’re asking him to play out of position for us. He’s doing OK but it’s not entirely fair on him. Denver has a slight groin problem, he should hopefully train towards the end of this week,” Ross said. “Duncan Watmore and Ethan Thorburn will still be out. The two from Saturday have a chance. Dylan McGeough has an ankle problem; it was still pretty sore yesterday and this morning. We’ll see how he reacts over the rest of the week.”