Pundits Micky Gray and Darren Bent hail Jack Ross' tactical masterstroke

Sky Sports pundits Micky Gray and Darren Bent praised Jack Ross' tactical switch at half-time following Sunderland's dramatic victory over Charlton.

Saturday, 4th August 2018, 5:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th August 2018, 5:38 pm
Lynden Gooch celebrates his winning goal against Charlton.

The former Black Cats duo appeared as studio guests during the televised lunchtime kick-off, as the hosts came from a goal down to win the League One opener.

Lyle Taylor put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the eighth minute, before Ross changed formation and introduced striker Jerome Sinclair at the break.

Josh Maja equalised midway through the second half before Lynden Gooch completed the comeback with a dramatic late header.

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"It was an unbelievable turnaround in the game in that second 45 minutes," said Gray after the final whistle.

"I saw character, I saw a lot more energy, the changes made a huge difference. I thought that Sinclair and [Bryan] Oviedo coming onto the field and the system that they changed to really really worked.

"The players got themselves on the front foot and they only looked like they were going to get back into the game and that's exactly what happened."

Former striker Bent also praised Maja's low strike which gave Sunderland a foothold in the game.

"It's instinctive finishing, it was a great finish to be fair, the keeper will probably look back at it and think he could have done a little bit better.

"It seemed to come out of nothing as well because the game was kind of petering out at this stage with not too much going on.

"Sometimes you need a bit of quality and something a little bit different and he's done that with a snapshot and they're back in the game."

On Ross' half-time alteration, Bent said: "The first half they weren't great but I agree with what the manager said, I felt Sunderland ended the first half the better side and had a great chance at the end and didn't take it.

He [Ross] adapted and saw what Charlton were doing, especially in that first half how they were getting in behind so easily and he changed to a three [at the back] and it helped because it gave them that protection and made them a lot more solid."

When asked about Gooch's winner, Gray added: "I have to say what a ball from Oviedo, it's on a plate and it's a great run into the area from Lynden Gooch and you've just got to head that towards the goal and it goes in the back of the net.

"You talk about the supporters going home with a smile on their face, they've not done that very often over the last couple of seasons so I think they deserve that.