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Lynden Gooch reveals his honest thoughts about playing right-back at Sunderland and his defensive responsibilities after Sheffield Wednesday win

Lynden Gooch believes people are starting to recognise his defensive attributes after the wideman played at right-back against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunday, 8th May 2022, 6:00 am

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The Black Cats will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their play-off semi-final at Hillsborough on Monday, and were put under some late pressure during the first game at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland’s defence stood firm, though, as Alex Neil’s side recorded their eighth clean sheet in 13 matches.

Gooch made several important challenges after moving to the right of a back four, with Wednesday wing-back Marvin Johnson struggling to get past him.

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

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“I’ve said it for years that I’m willing to play anywhere for the team and the lads and the club,” said Gooch, 26, after the match.

“You have to change your mindset in the way you play in each different position, that’s why I think sometimes people say someone’s not good enough with this and that.

“You are constantly changing your mind with the way you have to play the game and there are different roles with what you are doing.

“I just try to the best of my ability to help the team and that’s my role at the minute.

“We have kind of struggled in full-back positions this season and me and Carl Winchester have had to really step up on that right-hand side.

“Even on the left at times when we have had injuries I have had to play there so I just try to do the best I can.

“Obviously it’s difficult at times for myself but it’s for the good of the team.”

On the defensive side of his game, Gooch added: “To be fair I think people are starting to see that now, that I can defend.

“I think managers play me there because they trust me and they know I can play both sides of the ball.

“That’s why I think managers have played me in those positions when needed and at the minute I pride myself on defending well and helping the team.

“When I can attack I try and attack the best I can.”