Jack Ross reacts to Sunderland's 4-1 win over Rochdale - and makes Josh Maja prediction

Jack Ross was delighted his Sunderland side got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 win over Rochdale.

Saturday, 22nd September 2018, 6:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd September 2018, 8:23 am
Josh Maja scored his sixth and seventh goal of the season in the 4-1 win over Rochdale.

Sunderland had gone three League One games without a win but a brace from Josh Maja and Lynden Gooch sealed an impressive victory at a buoyant Stadium of Light.

Ross was pleased with the reaction from his side to their first defeat of the season last weekend, the 2-1 loss at Burton Albion.

Victory over Rochdale pushed Sunderland up to third in the League One table, with Ross full of praise for Gooch and Maja.

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"People would look at the response, to us losing last week, and to win the game 4-1 is very good," said a delighted Ross.

"Again, there is always bits we can do better, in the main, there were bits we did well. We were a lot more physically resilient, than last week in particular.

"When we do that, then the other side of the game - that we have quality in - can come to the fore.

"We also didn't fall behind, you can see the difference that makes.

"It meant when we had a spell and we were on top, you can see the difference."

Maja won the EFL young player of the month award for August earlier this week and he capped an impressive seven days with a double against Keith Hill's Rochdale.

Sunderland led 3-0 at the break thanks to a devastating eight minute spell, Maja heading Sunderland in front before a Gooch penalty - which he won - doubled the lead. Maja then added a third before the break.

His manager has praised the young striker for his impact this season and his willingess to get better.

And Ross believes the 19-year-old top scorer will end the season with an impressive goal tally if he keeps up his current form.

Ross said: "There were bits of his early performance that highlighted some things he can still get better at.

"I have spoken about his willngness to learn, I sat with him Friday and we looked at bits of his game that he can add to.

"There are parts I can't help get any better because they are so very good- his ability to finish, for example. His first, the header, was different to any goal he has scored this season. His second, he shifted the ball in a tight area.

"He has a lot of shots low and hard, gives keepers no time to react.

"To return the number of goals for a young man this early is terrific. If he can keep it going he will end with a really good total."