Patrick Roberts explains the sense of unity at Sunderland, his friendship with Jack Clarke and emotions after scoring against Sheffield Wednesday

Patrick Roberts says reaching the League One play-off final with Sunderland is one of the highlights of his career so far – but insists the job is not done yet.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 6:00 am

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The 25-year-old scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as the Black Cats battled past Sheffield Wednesday over two legs, setting up a meeting with Wycombe at Wembley.

After signing for Manchester City as a teenager in 2015, Roberts enjoyed success while on loan at Celtic, but has also endured a handful of difficult loan spells with limited game time.

Roberts then joined Sunderland on a short-term contract from City in January, with a club option for the Wearsiders to extend the deal beyond this season.

Sunderland winger Patrick Roberts. Picture by FRANK REID

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“I’ve obviously won a few trophies, and been in some top teams and been around some good players,” said Roberts when speaking to the media after the second leg against Wednesday, “but I think a journey like this, for a club like this, is definitely right up there in terms of a career high.

“It’s not over yet though. There’s more things to write, and I’m just glad to have had the opportunity to be part of it.

"That’s what I came to this club to do. I came with the aim of winning promotion. We all know that’s the aim, and we’ve all been really focused on that.”

Roberts was one of three January signings who started for Sunderland against Wednesday, with Danny Batth and Jack Clarke also playing key roles.

And while some have been part of the Sunderland journey longer than others, the sense of unity comes across.

“We know what it feels like to be part of a huge club," Roberts added. “The aim is to get back to where the club should be. It’s just one game though – and now we need to go again in the next one.

“It’s all about a collective achievement. Some have been involved with the club since they were young, some have come in. Me, Jack and Danny have only been involved since January, but we get it, and we want to play a part. All I can ask of myself is to give my all in every game, from the first minute to the 100th minute. I’ve just got to give it my all, and it will pay off.”

Roberts and Clarke have formed a particularly close friendship, and it was the latter who assisted the winning goal at Hillsborough.

“I get on really well with Jack," Roberts explained. “We see a lot of each other, and I thought he was excellent on the night.

"He maybe wasn’t on his game in the first leg, and I think he knew that, but in the second game, I thought he was outstanding, the way he carried the ball. Even in the last minute, you could see he still had that drive.

"Thankfully, he put the ball across to me. I’m sure, on another day, he would have wanted to have scored himself, but it just shows the togetherness we have, and that determination to win at all costs. He put it in the right area, and my job was to put it in the back of the net.

"It’s a feeling that won’t go away – and is something we can take towards Wembley.”