Ex-Sunderland player linked with Rangers and Celtic, Bannan addresses Sheffield Wednesday future after play-off exit

Alex Neil spoke of his pride in his Sunderland team after they snatched a place at Wembley with a stoppage-time winner against Sheffield Wednesday.

Lee Gregory looked to have sent the tie to extra-time when he converted Marvin Johnson’s low cross with fifteen minutes to play, but Sunderland found another gear to score when Jack Clarke squared for Patrick Roberts.

There were still nine nervy minutes to see out at that stage but the Black Cats did it without giving up any significant chances.

Neil said he felt it was a deserved result both on the night and over the two legs. He also spoke of his relief that his decision not to make changes after the goal paid off.

“When that goal goes in, there’s so much emotion that it’s just hard to describe,” Neil explained.

“Relief, pride.

“Unfortunately I’m quite aggressive when I show all that! I don’t try to be!

“If I’m honest I’m just so pleased for the players, because they do get written off. People talked about coming here, Sheffield Wednesday being favourites. So they can put that in their pipe.

“It’s probably the first time I’ve not made early changes and that’s because I had so much faith in those players.

“I felt if I changed it, I might dilute what we’re doing. I had to stick to my guns but I believed in what that team were doing for me. They delivered for me again.

“But for us, it’s only got us to an opportunity now. We’ve celebrated, but it won’t be long for none.”

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