Max Power explains the real meaning behind his Sunderland goal celebration as he reflects on the Oxford United win

Max Power has explained the real meaning behind his Sunderland goal celebration – having hailed his side’s resolve to overcome Oxford United.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 6:00 am

The Black Cats’ captain netted a crucial third goal to seal a 3-1 victory over the U’s to add to Lynden Gooch and Aiden McGeady’s strike.

Power celebrated his goal, which came deep into injury time, by sliding in front of the visiting bench before being joined by his teammates.

And when quizzed on the moment after the game, the Sunderland skipper explained how the celebration was about far more than just Friday afternoon.

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Max Power

"I've took a fair bit of abuse from that Oxford bench in the three years I've been at this club, whether it's been home or away,” he explained.

"Go back to the game I got sent off against them, I thought the red card was harsh that day and it could have went either way.

"I remember walking off the pitch and getting abuse that day, so it's swings and roundabouts. Something was said to me at half-time but I've had the last laugh. I'll leave it at that.”

The game was another difficult one to overcome with Oxford – who still have play-off ambitions of their own – enjoying some spells of dominance.

A second half red card for Mark Sykes, who collected two bookings, ultimately proved a turning point with Sunderland asking the majority of the questions from that point onward.

And Power was pleased with the character shown by the side to battle their way back having fallen behind.

"I thought it was two good sides in the division,” he said of the clash.

"Even before the season started I fancied Oxford to challenge this year. I think they suffered a bit from a play-off defeat, took a bit of a slow start to get going, but they have got some good players.

"But so have we, we've got a lot of threats on the pitch and I think we started the game pretty well.

"We had a 15-minute spell where we started playing a game that suited them. The pitch was very stretched and we're strong when we're in a compact shape in to out and we can feed our wide men.

“We're disappointed from the goal we conceded, I think me and Scowy can do better in the middle of the pitch, and sometimes you're at your most vulnerable when you're attacking and I think that was the case there.

"But we've showed great character to come back. I enjoyed that win today.”

The game was largely overshadowed by allegations of a half-time incident before a somewhat feisty second half.

And the Sunderland skipper was asked post-match whether coming through a game of that nature provided some extra adrenaline for the promotion push.

“I don't think it adds any more,” he replied.

"But I was really pleased that as a squad we backed each other today. Both on the pitch and I won't go into too much off the pitch.

"It's an emotional sport, a tribal sport of team backing each other. I have no issue with what's said to me, I feel like I've had the last laugh today but all the best to Oxford for the rest of the season.”

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