Jack Ross has hailed the commitment and desire of his Sunderland squad with several playing through the pain barrier in a bid to bring promotion success to Wearside.
Third-place Sunderland have a quick turnaround following the 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers with an away trip to play-off hopefuls Peterborough United this afternoon (KO 3pm).
And Ross has praised the character of his squad.
That was highlighted on Friday when striker Charlie Wyke was sick and suffering from a migraine in the dressing room prior to kick-off only to shake off illness and help spearhead Sunderland’s win over Doncaster.
Max Power had to go off late in the game following a heavy challenge but Ross hopes he will be fit for the trip to Posh, while the likes of Lee Cattermole and Aiden McGeady continue to play through the pain barrier with their ongoing ankle and foot concerns.
Will Grigg, dropped to the bench against Doncaster, is also being carefully managed with an ongoing ankle issue, with other members of the squad patched up for the final four games of a gruelling season.
Ross said: “We will assess what is best for the game, alongside with who is right physically, we have some that are patched up and getting through games.
“You also temper that at this stage of the season with players being determined to keep playing, they want to play because they know the significance of the game and want to contribute to us having a successful season.
“If you are one of those players who has played a lot of games and minutes then the chances of you being pain or injury free at this stage of the season, it is not usually the case.
“A lot of them patch themselves up and get ready to go again.
“The adrenaline, being involved in these types of games, the atmosphere and the significance of the matches is what players need. A lot of them have experienced it and want more of it.
“If Charlie, for example, looked as if he couldn’t have played on Friday then he wouldn’t have but there is an element that while he had been ill I’m sure the adrenaline he feels would have helped get him through it.”
On Power, Ross was hopeful he’d be able to line-up against Peterborough this afternoon following a dominant display in the middle alongside Cattermole against Doncaster.
Ross added: “It was an impact from the tackle at the end of the game, I would imagine he would be okay.
“It is a quick turnaround so that can affect it but we will see how the players are when they come back in.”
After today, Sunderland host Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light Saturday before a busy final week of the campaign which sees them play their game in hand away at Fleetwood the following Tuesday before ending the season away at Southend.