Jack Ross: Sunderland have platform to beat Portsmouth to League One title

Jack Ross remains confident Sunderland can overhaul leaders Pompey and take the League One title.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 2:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:32 pm
Jack Ross is still confident Sunderland can beat Kenny Jackett's men to the League One title. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Black Cats drew 1-1 with Charlton on Saturday as the missed an opportunity to cut the gap on Kenny Jackett's men who were progressing in the FA Cup at Norwich.

Reece James' second-half own goal cancelled Luke O'Nien's early opener as Charlton came from behind to get a point at The Valley.

It would have been a game Sunderland had marked out as a big one in the race to get top spot.

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But Charlton are up to fourth now and showed they also are more than capable of having a big say in the promotion hunt.

Ross told the Sunderland Echo he thinks Sunderland will see the point as a good one in the long run, even though they felt it was a match they could have won.

They certainly feel they can beat Pompey to the League One title.

He said: '˜Our ambition is still to finish top and we've given ourselves a platform to try to do that.

'˜As the dust settles, I think we'll come to look at it as a good point.

'˜We had to work hard for it, play well, which we did for periods of the game. We also came here (to Charlton) pretty stretched in terms of numbers so I'm proud of the players in terms of what they gave me through the game.'

Sunderland made the perfect start when James' second-minute cross picked out the unmarked O'Nien at the back post and he volleyed powerfully past Dillon Phillips.

Charlton got level five minutes after the interval when the unfortunately-placed James converted Lyle Taylor's low cross into his own net.

The home side were then dominant as they pushed for a winner but couldn't find it.

Charlton are expecting signings in January and feel more confident they can now gain automatic promotion.

Bowyer has warned they are going to put a good run together.

Ross feels Charlton have justified the confidence of their manager and shown they are going to be a growing force in the second half of the season.

He had no qualms with Bowyer's challenge to the current top two, as well as third-placed Sunderland, even with the London side currently 10 points behind Pompey.

He said: '˜I don't think there's any issue with Lee saying that.

'˜He's got a good side, as we pass the halfway point we've seen that it will be competitive in the second half of the season.'

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