Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' thoughts on Sunderland's play-off finish revealed after seven-game winless run ends
Lee Johnson admits he is ‘buzzing’ to have finally secured Sunderland’s play-off place – with majority shareholder Kyril Louis-Dreyfus equally pleased.
The club’s chairman watched on at Home Park as the Black Cats ended their seven-game winless run and simultaneously secured a place in the top six.
And while it is not the automatic promotion place that looked possible a month ago, Johnson is happy to have relieved the pressure of guaranteeing a place in the play-offs.
So too is Louis-Dreyfus, although the head coach says that both are aware that this is only one part of the quest to return to the Championship.
“The owner is happy but he understands and we understand the big picture,” said Johnson.
“I’m buzzing. I’m disappointed we haven't got automatic promotion but we’ve got a second bite at the cherry in a competition we can be really prepared for.”
Sunderland and Lincoln City are the only two sides to have mathematically secured a play-off place at present, but they could be joined by Blackpool if they can avoid defeat against Doncaster Rovers this evening.
And full-back Luke Garbutt – a pre-salary cap target for the Black Cats and now a key part of the Blackpool squad pushing for promotion – says the side are confident of securing their top six finish at the first time of asking.
“We’ll be fully confident going into the Doncaster game that we can get the job done,” he told the Blackpool Gazette.
“Our form at Bloomfield Road has been relatively good, especially since the turn of the year.
“We had a little wobble with the back-to-back defeats, but during those games I think, in general, we played quite well. It was just the lack of quality in the final third which undid us.
“We’ve put it to bed with back-to-back wins, so we can go into Tuesday night feeling fully confident and hopefully have that momentum potentially going into the play-offs.”
Both Blackpool and Lincoln could leapfrog Sunderland in the League One table this evening, with the Imps facing play-off chasing Charlton Athletic in the final midweek fixtures of the regular season.