Ross' Rochdale Reaction

Sunderland overcame Rochdale to make it three wins in eight days. Jack Ross had this to say afterwards. “One thing we learned last year was the importance in tight games of turning one point into three, one way or another,” said Ross. “It was something that ultimately probably cost us in terms of achieving what we wanted to do. I’ve stressed that to the players, you’d love to come here, play really well, win two or three nil and have everybody tell you how you good you are, but the truth is in this league it’s not like that all that often.nWe know how important it is to win games like this because we weren’t that far away last season in terms of the points we needed, and we know we probably drew too many games. You’re going to get tight games in this league, and it’s important you come out on top of as many as you can. If you look at Luton and Barnsley from last season, I’m pretty sure you’ll see that they both came through quite a few games like this.”

Ross was keen to praise match winner Charlie Wyke. “He’s a proven goalscorer at this level,” said Ross. “It comes with sharpness, and how you feel mentally, and how proactive you are with putting yourself in good areas. The physical difference in him this year, allied to how he is feeling mentally, allowed him to finish like that tonight. He just looks confident, which is a good sign for us. He scored here last year, but I think he’s in a very different place now and he’ll be a real asset for us. His overall play was good, and his finish was just reflective of how he feels at the moment. I was delighted with Grigg tonight too, and I hope he gets credit for it,” added Ross. “He has gone through a frustrating period, I’ve spoken about it quite openly and I speak to Will a lot. He does care, and he wants to do well here. He’s accepted being left out of the team at times because he knows his levels aren’t quite where he wants them to be, but his attitude has continued to be good, and I think he showed where he’s at when he came on the pitch tonight. I thought he had a really good impact on it because he kick-started us a bit in that second half, and it was during that period when we scored and looked like we might get another. He played a big part in that, and I hope that people recognise that he’s not just there to score goals, he is a good player and he is a good striker and I think he showed that with the way he played tonight.”

“We spoke about the need for momentum before the game, and we’ve got a bit of it now,” said Ross. “When you get it, it can be powerful, you’ve just got to be pushing it along because once it stops, it can be difficult to get it started again. We’ve got it at the minute, starting the season unbeaten and having these three wins. I think confidence is growing amongst the players, and I’ve told them to enjoy it. They’ve got high standards, and just because you’ve only won 2-1 away from home and it’s been a tough game, doesn’t make it any less significant than if you win 3-0 and play brilliantly.”