Frustration for Sunderland after failing to top Portsmouth

Sunderland manager Jack Ross
Sunderland manager Jack Ross
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Sunderland boss Jack Ross admitted it was so frustrating not to move top ahead of Pompey in the League One title race.

With Kenny Jackett’s men not playing their rivals could have made the jump ahead.

But they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wycombe and it was arguably their worst performance of the season.

That ended a run of wins and provided a boost for Pompey who are two points clear now from the same number of games.

Ross told the Sunderland Echo: ‘There is an element of frustration for us, there was obviously that incentive for us, that tangible reward and where a win would take you.

‘In terms of the how the game panned out, frustration with little bits of the performance but on the flip side, I don't think you can ask a group of players to show more willingness and desire to try and get something from the game.

‘There are times when it doesn't always happen in the manner you would like but the response to adversity – as it has been all season – was very good.

‘Naturally, we want to win every game we play here. I have never hidden away from that.

‘You temper that with the way the game pans out, going a goal behind and still being a goal behind heading into the last 15 minutes.

‘We take satisfaction from the fact we came from a goal behind but are frustrated we didn't continue the winning run, particularly in this stadium.’

With Sunderland needing to get a goal Ross was able to bring on Josh Maja, Max Power and Bryan Oviedo in the second half.

Maja got the equaliser to earn them a point.

That sort of strength will give them hope they can stay in the hunt with Pompey for top spot.

Ross added: ‘I have said it often enough, I do get a bit fed up of people saying we have a good squad, there have been good squads here before.

‘You have to have a good squad that wants to take part in the game, either starting or from the bench.

‘Each and every player to their credit, whether they start or come off the bench, has made a contribution.

‘Max, Josh, Bryan too when he came on. As a whole squad they have recognised that and deserve credit for that.’

Pompey host Sunderland on Saturday, December 22.