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Lynden Gooch praises Sunderland's 'outstanding' fans and is prepared for a hostile environment at Sheffield Wednesday

Lynden Gooch says he’s desperate to win promotion for everyone connected with Sunderland and praised the club’s outstanding supporters following their 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 3:00 pm

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A crowd of 44,742 attended the first leg of the Black Cats’ League One play-off semi-final, yet the job is only half done ahead of Monday’s return match at Hillsborough.

Gooch, who came through the ranks at Sunderland and has been at the club since 2012, started the match at right-back and produced an excellent display as Ross Stewart scored the game’s only goal before half time.

Sunderland fans showed their support for Gooch whenever the 26-year-old made a tackle, with shouts of ‘Goooooooch’ following his interventions.

Lynden Gooch playing for Sunderland against Sheffield Wednesday. Picture by Frank Reid

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When asked about that support, Gooch told the Echo: “Yeah of course I’ve been here a long time. It’s special, this is my club and I’ve been here 10 years as a pro.

“It’s amazing and hopefully I can achieve the promotion we all want.

"It’s massive. We know how much of an impact they (the fans) can have and we’ve seen it many times.

He added: "I think everyone craves that success, the fans, the players, people working here at the Academy of Light.

“We have been in this league far too long and hopefully we can get the job done.”

The job is far from done either, with Wednesday boasting the best home record in League One this season.

"We know it’s going to be a hostile environment for us down there, just like it was for them here,” Gooch added.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game, they are a top team with a lot of experience and it was a tough game but the main thing is taking a lead to Hillsborough.

“I think being at home in the first leg it was important that we used that advantage and take something there.”

Still, Sunderland are now on a 14-match unbeaten run and have lost just once since Alex Neil’s appointment in the middle of February.

“We have just been really solid since the manager has come in and he’s a top manager,” Gooch added. “He’s very experienced and has been promoted out of the Championship.

“Hopefully that will put us in good stead.”