Jack Ross reflects on home form as Sunderland maintain unbeaten record but draw game number five at Stadium of Light
Sunderland remain unbeaten at home after coming from behind to draw with Shrewsbury Town but it was the fifth draw at the Stadium of Light this season.
Jack Ross believes his side deserve credit for their unbeaten home record and isn’t overly concerned by the number of draws.
But he was critical of his side’s start against the Shrews - who have the division’s worst away record.
Ross described Sunderland’s opening display as ‘slow, sloppy and laboured’, falling behind to Luke Waterfall’s header.
Josh Maja’s header levelled the scores but Sunderland were unable to find a breakthrough in a much-improved second half display.
Ross said: “Frustration for the last 45 to 55 minutes but disappointment before that because we weren’t at the level needed to be to win the game.
“[The start] surprised me, the group has looked really bright since Wednesday and in the warm-up. Sometimes things might concern you but the boxes were all ticked.
“There may be reasons in the stadium has a different feel, although we had a fantastic crowd in it was 13,000 less than Boxing Day and naturally makes the atmosphere different but it is not an excuse.
“We should still have been better than we were, we were slow, sloppy and laboured and although we still dominated territory, we conceded a poor goal.”
Maja’s header following a brilliant cross from Bryan Oviedo, who had latched on to Max Power’s through ball, levelled the scores but Sunderland couldn’t find a winner.
The Black Cats have now drawn against Oxford United, Fleetwood Town, Peterborough United, Wycombe Wanderers and Shrewsbury on home soil.
The draw leaves Sunderland third in League One, four points off second placed Luton Town and seven off Portsmouth, with two games in hand.
Asked whether he was concerned about the number of home draws, Ross said: “We have to be careful we don’t get very dramatic about things here. We have a disappointment at not winning games, I would have liked to have won every game.
“We also face teams playing in a different manner here, they see a certain result as being very positive for them, there is nothing wrong with that, I am not criticising them for that.
“Second half is a perfect example of that, we can’t do anymore, other than score.
“It depends if you are a glass half full or half empty - we are unbeaten at home, which in itself is quite remarkable, points total wise we have still given ourselves a chance.
“There is a lot of football to be played still.
“What I would say is a fair point is that we can’t replicate the number of draws over the remaining home games because then we would be in danger of dropping below the points we need.
“That is something that we are aware of.”
Bryan Oviedo limped off five minutes into the second half and is a doubt for the trip to Blackpool on New Year’s Day.
Ross added: “Lower back, impact. I haven’t spoken to him or the medical staff yet.
“We have a quick turnaround, we will see how it is over the next couple of days.”