Sunderland boss reacts to Max Power's second red of the season in win over Bradford City

Max Power will miss the next four Sunderland games after seeing red in the 2-1 win over Bradford City - but Jack Ross does not think there is a lack of discipline in his squad.

Saturday, 6th October 2018, 6:18 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 6:23 pm
Max Power is sent off against Bradford City.

The midfielder, given the armband again by Ross, was given his marching orders after just 66 minutes at Valley Parade for a kick-out at a Bradford defender in Sunderland's penalty area.

Referee Anthony Backhouse rightly deemed it a straight red and Power was sent off for the second time, Bradford awarded a penalty but Jon McLaughlin saved Jack Payne's effort and Sunderland held on for a big win.

Ross has confirmed the club is unlikely to launch an appeal given the nature of the red card and admits it is difficult to defend.

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It was the second time in a week Sunderland have finished a game with ten men having had Bryan Oviedo red carded in midweek for also kicking out.

Ross has no concerns about the discipline from his squad but has warned his players to stay on the right side of the line.

On the red card, Ross said: "I didn't see it at the time. But we understood from the fourth official that it was a kick out. I have watched it and it is a kick out.

"There is no contact and quite a bit of contact between their player. But in fairness to them, they don't react in any way other than to draw the referee's attention to it.

"They don't to pretend to have been caught by it. The ref was looking straight at it too. There was zero contact but it was a kick out.

"When you do that, then you give the referee a decision to make."

Ross added: "The discipline side of it is interesting one for me, if I had any concerns about the discipline of my players on a daily basis and how they conduct themselves, what they do, but I never have any concerns from them.

"It is that fine balance on the pitch being absolutely determined to take this club forward as Max is and remaining in control of your emotions too.

"It is a fine balance. Every player that is a proper player will walk that line all the time. He has to make sure he stays the right side of it.

"He knows that, I know that. It is something we need to continue to work on as we want him available for games this season.

"The two [red cards] this week are difficult for me to defend them as a manager. I won't come out and be massively critical of my players publicly, it is something you have to improve upon as they are avoidable.

"These two this week have been avoidable red cards and it is experienced players involved in them too."

Sunderland climbed to third in the League One table, just four points from the top spot after Portsmouth, Peterborough United and Doncaster Rovers all tasted defeat.

They will be without Power for the foreseeable though, the midfielder will also miss Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy game against Carlisle United, effectively making it a five-game ban.

Sunderland are unlikely to appeal though.

When asked, Ross added: "Not from what I've watched. I have only watched it very quickly a couple of times but the counter argument will be there was an intent from kicking out, not great in that respect.

"It is not something I deal with immediately after a game, particularly when we have performed in that manner to win the game.

"I don't want to detract from any of the positives from the game.

"Max is an adult and so am I, we deal with it accordingly through the week. It is a blow for us as he is an important player, and a blow for him with a four-game ban.

"We have to make sure it is not replicated."