Lee Johnson's firm message for Sunderland as they look to build on Wembley win in crucial week

Lee Johnson urged his side to keep the momentum building as they look to build on their Papa John's Trophy final win in a crucial week of League One fixtures.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 6:00 am

Sunderland ended a 48-year wait for victory at Wembley with a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers; the Head Coach proud of the way his players came through a challenging physical battle.

He is nevertheless adamant that he and his squad ensure that this is just the start of getting the club back to where it belongs.

"We've got to keep it going," he said.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lynden Gooch celebrates his winning goal

"This should be the start. This shouldn't be the exception to the rule.

"We've got to keep driving forward and keep making the right decisions but what I think it's done is build that bit of belief.

"We've delivered. I know it's not a trophy that's the biggest in terms of major honours but at the same time, this is what we want, regular wins.

"It was difficult for us coming into this game as the team expected to win and Tranmere with nothing to lose.

"I thought that A) they were excellent but B) we coped with that and their moments of pressure very well.

"It's another clean sheet and we've got lads coming away from the ground bloodied with about nine stitches between them, and I think that shows that they were prepared to put their body on the line when it mattered."

Sunderland travel to Accrington Stanley on Wednesday before Lincoln City, currently one place above the Black Cats in the table, visit the Stadium of Light next Saturday.

Johnson says it is crucial that the Black Cats keep building from their Wembley win.

"Absolutely," he said.

"We've ticked that box now, we've got the silverware, we've got to have that belief and support the boys.

"We know there's going to be bumps in the road, straight away we're at Accrington and it can't be after the lord mayor's show, we've got to churn out another performance and another win.

"The good news is we've got lads [cup tied] in the stands today ready to come back, and we've got the likes of Ross Stewart and Benji Kimpioka coming back.

"We've just got to keep going.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor