Reece James on Sunderland’s frustrating draw and an even more frustrating penalty decision

SAFC 1-1 LTFC 12-01-2019. Picture by FRANK REID
SAFC 1-1 LTFC 12-01-2019. Picture by FRANK REID
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Reece James admits it was another frustrating afternoon for Sunderland as their lead was pegged back for the second week in succession.

After a challenging start the Black Cats took the lead against Luton Town but like Charlton Athletic, the visitors rescued a point in the second half.

Sunderland remain very well placed in the push for autmoatic promotion, a point behind the Hatters with a game in hand, and the 25-year-old says his team-mates ‘must keep plugging away’.

“The first ten, 15 minutes they made it very difficult for us,” James said.

“They started well, really bright.

“They put us under pressure but once we settled in we created some good chances and I thought we could have been more than one up.

“But then Jon in goal has made some fantastic saves.

“I don’t think it was too bad a point but we have to turn some of these draws into wins, especially when we go a goal up.

“We’ve just got to keep plugging away. Things just haven’t quite dropped for us, there’s been some ricochets today even that just haven’t dropped in the right place.

“We’ve got to keep going and hopefully some luck will fall our way in the next few games.”

Like his manager Jack Ross and over 30,000 Sunderland fans in the ground, James was left baffled and frustated by Lee Probert’s decision to award a second half penalty.

Tom Flanagan was ruled to have fouled James Collins, the forward getting up to score the crucial equaliser.

“I still think it was a free kick on Chrissy on the edge of the box,” James said.

“If the referee has given what he’s given for what happened in the box, which was for me, minimal if anything.

“Even their players looked a little bit bewildered. It was harsh on us but these things can happen in football. “

It was another solid showing from James, who continues to keep Bryan oviedo out of the side.

The former Manchester United trainee is feeling in good shape but says he has even more to offer between now and the end of the season.

“When you get that run of games you build that momentum and you start to understand the players around you, what they want from you and what you want from them,” he said.

“You build relationships, playing regularly means you get that.

“I still feel there’s more to come from me, hopefully I can do that in the next few games.

“We’ve got a squad where anyone could play on any given day, Bryan has come on there and done well, Denver isn’t too far off.

“We’ve got quality everywhere, hopefully we can get the squad fully fit soon.”