Ross Post Rotherham

On a disappointing night at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland could only manage a 1-1 draw with Rotherham United. Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “We’re disappointed not to get the win,” said Ross. “We had a period of superiority, scored, and had other opportunities to go further ahead. But I’m loath to be too critical of the front players because they’ve delivered this season and done well for a while now. The harsh reality for us is that we need to keep clean sheets. We’re ten games into the season now in league and cup, and we haven’t kept a clean sheet. That buck and responsibility always stops with me. It’s my fault today – we need to continue to work hard at it to make sure we begin to do it (keep clean sheets) because if we do that, we turn what has been a decent ten games into a really good ten games following on from now. It was a difficult game against a good side, but on reflection, we’re disappointed with the chances we had and then the failure to keep a clean sheet because that’s turned three points into one. The penalty was obviously a really, really good opportunity to go further ahead in the game,” said Ross. “But as I’ve mentioned already, the key aspect for me is not keeping a clean sheet, rather than focusing on the penalty miss. The penalty miss is the same as Charlie’s (Wyke) miss or the fact that their keeper has made a couple of good saves. Yeah, that happens in games. But the bottom line is that if we don’t concede in the second half then we win, because we’re in a winning position. That’s the biggest thing I’ll take from the game.”

Ross also explained Chris Maguire’s absence. “Chris missed the Peterborough game with an ankle injury, and was very much touch and go for Accrington,” he said. “I thought long and hard about him playing (at the weekend) because he still had some issues in training, that was primarily behind that. Grant was just to freshen it up in that area of the pitch, but also we wanted to play a little bit differently tonight. The first goal was an example of that, and in other aspects of the first half, we were a bit more direct. I don’t think Rotherham would have expected it because of how we usually play at home, and Luke playing in that position helped us with that as well. It’s good that we have that flexibility to do that at times.”