Jack Ross on Sunderland's young matchwinners and 'incredibly positive' support

Gooch scores Sunderland's winner
Gooch scores Sunderland's winner
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Jack Ross hailed Lynden Gooch and Josh Maja after their goals fired Sunderland to an opening day win over Charlton Athletic.

Maja got the Black Cats back on level terms with a fine individual goal, before Gooch stole the show in the closing moments with a stunning header.

Ross was thrilled with their contribution and expects them to be big players this season.

He said: "Both those players have good quality. I have watched a lot of them before I came to the club, they have that in their locker.

"Lynden has been outstanding through pre-season and in training, he will be a top player for us this season.

"We asked him to play wing back second half and his energy levels and willingness to get at people is brilliant, Josh is a really good finisher.

"His ability to hit on either foot and hit the target is really good, it is just encouraging him to do it. If he hits one over the bar, fine, just keep doing it.

"They are two young men to come through the club, they will enjoy tonight."

Ross praised Sunderland's support after nearly 32,000 watched their fightback against Lee Bowyer's side.

"It is never a determing factor how the season unfolds but because of how much focus and tension was on the game, it is undoubtedly beneficial for us to win," he said.

"It keeps that air of optimism and positivity. To produce that support after successive relegations is incredible. The supporters were incredibly positive, it would have been easy for them to not back us at 1-0 down but they stayed with us. They helped drive us on.

"The noise, that is a new experience for me. The players should want more of that, it is a terrifc feeling. They are in the dressing room wanting more of that.

"Particular here, we need to make it a difficult place to come. The fans helped us, we finished strongly, they were hanging on a little bit.

"There are a huge amount of things for me to be positive about."