It counted for nothing in the end, but on a day of few pluses for Sunderland, Charlie Wyke’s promising display was certainly one of them.
Wyke scored his fourth goal of an injury-hit season, his second in a week, in the thrilling 5-4 defeat at home to Coventry City and was involved in two other of the goals for the Black Cats.
In an utterly chaotic opening 45 minutes, Sunderland fell behind after just 12 minutes, the third time in a week they have gone behind.
There were six goals in a stunning first half, with Coventry claiming a 12th minute lead when Bright Enobakhare capitalised on an error from Luke O'Nien to slot home a low finish. George Honeyman levelled before Coventry quickly surged further ahead.
Luke Thomas' through ball enabled Amadou Bakayoko to break clear and score, Jordy Hiwula then fired home to give Coventry a 3-1 lead just 25 minutes in.
Sunderland were all over the place, Wyke giving them a foothold back in the game with a well-taken finish at the near post after an error by Lee Burge.
Will Grigg equalised before the break before a further three goals after the break via Jordan Shipley, Max Power and the winner from sub Conor Chaplin 12 minutes from time resulted in a 5-4 win for the Sky Blues.
It was a shambolic way for Sunderland to end their long league unbeaten run on home soil this season, with few positives to take on a damaging day.
The performance of Wyke was one and he won praise from his manager.
Ross said: “He's been like that for a number of games now, he's getting better.
“I said a few weeks ago if he could play in that manner he'd be a huge asset for us now between now and the end of the season, and he did that again.
“I'm pleased he got his reward with a goal, he'll be disappointed to be on the losing team but it's a big plus for us at this stage of the season.”