'All guns blazing!': Max Power has this strong message as Sunderland prepare for the League One play-offs
Max Power says Sunderland’s disappointment at missing out on automatic needs to be firmly parked – as they look to enter the play-offs with ‘all guns blazing’.
The Black Cats were favourites to achieve a top two finish in early April, but a seven-game winless run means the side have been forced to settle for a place in the play-offs.
And while Power knows that there may be a sense of regret at what could have been, he wants to see the side move on and focus on the challenge ahead.
"I think there’s obviously going to be disappointment,” admitted the Sunderland captain, speaking to safc.com.
"We can’t hide that fact, that we didn’t manage to get automatic promotion.
"But I think that talk now has to be firmly put to one side and we have to focus on the play-offs. A promotion is a promotion, no matter how you do it, and we’ve shown this season in cup formats that we’ve been good.
"It’s up to us now to finish the season strongly and get prepared.”
Sunderland have this week benefitted from an eight-day gap between fixtures, which has been a luxury during a hectic campaign.
And for Power, it has given the side time to recover so that they can ‘fly into’ the play-offs come mid-May.
"Even getting out there and being able to train – throughout this season it’s been such a hectic schedule that a lot of the time you’ve just been getting out there and recovering,” he said.
"Sometimes it’s nice to refresh the mind with a few days and then go back into training and work on things we think we can improve on.
"We’re not always able to do that with the schedule that’s unfolded this season.
"Like I say, we want to finish the season well, get ready and fly into these play-offs all guns blazing.”
"It would be nice to finish the season with three points and take that winning momentum to go into the play-offs, which are obviously a different occasion in themselves,” he continued.
"We want to finish with a win and I’m sure we’ll go out there and do everything we can to get the three points.”