Jack Ross defends Sunderland's recent performances and reveals why poor form isn't a concern ahead of the play-offs

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Jack Ross believes Sunderland's poor form won't count against them in the play-offs - having branded recent results as an 'anomaly'.

The Black Cats have won just one of their last six outings in League One, with that run of form putting to and end their hopes of automatic promotion.

Jack Ross has defended Sunderland's recent performances

Jack Ross has defended Sunderland's recent performances

And while it's hardly the ideal platform on which to build a strong end to the season in the play-offs, Ross believes that the lack of recent victories won't prove an issue in the play-offs.

Indeed, he feels the results are something of an anomaly given the good performances that accompanied them.

"You can't ignore that you want to be going into these games on a winning run," he admitted.

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"You also can't ignore that this stutter we're on in terms of results has affected us at a really important time at the season.

"But it's been a little bit of an anomaly in the sense that our performances have been okay.

"We broke the last few games into segments and if you look at the chances we've made and the chances we've given up, and if you asked someone to predict how many points we'd take from those games I don't think they'd say only two.

"But we did, so there's no excuses on that side."

While the last six games have yielded just a solitary triumph - a 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers on Good Friday - Ross is keen to take forward whatever positives the Black Cats can muster.

And he has urged his side to learn from their profligacy in front of goal, while becoming more ruthless at both ends of the pitch.

"There's bits that are good for us to take forward, and there's bits for us to improve on," added Ross.

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"It sounds quite simple but it's probably ruthlessness at both ends of the pitch.

"We need to be more ruthless when opportunities present themselves and, although our defensive performances have improved in the last few games, we need to keep clean sheets.

"If we get that little bit right at both ends of the pitch, then we'll turn these performances into wins."