Josh Maja happy with Charlton display as Sunderland contract saga rumbles on

Josh Maja says he was happy with his performance against Charlton Athletic but felt Sunderland were made to pay for their missed chances in the first half.

Sunday, 6th January 2019, 9:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:30 pm
Josh Maja kept his place in the Sunderland side against Charlton and played well

The 20-year-old spoke to London outlet News Shopper at the end of a fraught week that ended without him signing a new contract.

Sunderland wanted a resolution before the 1-1 draw on Saturday but Maja is still to decide on his future, with Stewart Donald saying that his agent had advised him against signing.

Josh Maja kept his place in the Sunderland side against Charlton and played well

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Nevertheless, the striker looked sharp again for the Black Cats, particularly in a first half where Sunderland should have scored at least twice.

The away support were vociferous in their backing for the club's top scorer so far this season.

“I was happy with my performance, it’s disappointing not to get a goal but you can’t score every game so it’s on to the next one," Maja said.

"We had a game plan, we knew what they were going to bring and we dealt with them first half.

“If we take our chances in the first half, it’s a different second half and we go away with three points

"Obviously second half they changed their tactics and caused us more problems, but in the end I think the draw was a fair result.

“It was a good game, back and forth in the second half and I think we were made to pay for missed chances.”

After the game Jack Ross said it was important people remember that Maja had not agitated for a move and said he would keep picking him as long as the situation remains as it is.

"I have been consistent in my communication publicly about my relationship with Josh, how I would view him from a football perspective regardless of whether he signed a new contract or not," Ross said.

“Today just showed that I will continue to be consistent, I selected him, he played well and he contributed to us getting a point.

“I will continue to do that until the situation changes.

"You have to temper it with the fact that at the moment he has chosen not to sign a new contract, he hasn’t asked to leave the club.

“They are two very different things.

“People should take that on board, it can get forgotten about.

“He has not, for one moment, came and said to me he doesn’t want to be here. What he has done is not chosen to take the option of extending his contract as things stand.

"They are two very different things.

"The fans showed an understanding, his performance today and his contribution over the course of the season," he added.

“I get how passionate they are about the club and also understand why you could take it as a lack of commitment to the club, but as I mentioned it is important to stress he has not asked to leave the club.

“I spoke to him last night to check he was okay, I thought he would be, he was fine.

“If he continues to perform and be committed, he will keep getting that reception and rightly so.

“Anytime you don’t is when fans feel you haven’t played well or been wholly committed.

“I don’t see any reason why that would be the case with Josh.”