Tony Mowbray had this upbeat Sunderland message after impressive display at Burnley

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray said his side have shown they can be a force to reckoned with if they get their recruitment right after battling to an impressive draw at Burnley.

The Black Cats became the first side to keep a clean sheet at Turf Moor this season, and hit the crossbar through Amad in the second half.

Mowbray said his team were left frustrated that they weren’t quite able to make more of their chances to break on the hosts, but said he it was a positive learning experience for his team in a demanding environment.

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“When you come here, you know you're playing against the best in the league - I don't think they've lost here this season,” Mowbray said.

Lynden Gooch was superb for Sunderland at Turf MoorLynden Gooch was superb for Sunderland at Turf Moor
Lynden Gooch was superb for Sunderland at Turf Moor

“I said to the boys before the game that we had to go and challenge ourselves, compete and enjoy the night. We tried to play on the front foot and yet they do build from the back and they wait for you to get the press wrong, they play it past you and they're away.

“I think we generally got it right tonight and a little more aggression and intensity, we might have nicked it a bit more. Against a team like this it's got to be nick it, one pass and you're in. We didn't do that quite enough but it's a great experience for these young players.

“There's plenty of positives for us, we've come here and left disappointed we haven't taken our chances. We were good out of possession, it was just that final pass, that last little bit that we're just lacking without Ross Stewart to punish teams. We'll hopefully resolve that in the transfer window, get Ross fit and fill the team with goalscorers.

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“It's a really focused group, they are brilliant listeners who wanted to be better footballers.”

Sunderland’s defensive effort was led by a superb performance from Lynden Gooch, who returned to the starting XI at left back and kept Manuel Benson quiet for the majority of the contest.

Mowbray said that was no surprise and paid tribute to his defensive group for their consistency, particularly in the face of a number of key injuries over recent weeks.

“It doesn't surprise me, Lynden is a warrior,” Mowbray said.

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"He and Luke are the grit and determination of this team, that every team who is ever going to succeed needs. Players who put their head in, block shots. I've talked about soldiers and artists and they are much our soldiers. Danny Batth you've got to mention, he's been a rock and amazing for this football club.

“I though the balance was alright tonight, it's great that some of the young lads got game time in that environment and it's good for the experience of the team. I genuinely feel that if we get recruitment right in the summer, we can be a force in this league and give teams problems.”

Sunderland return to Championship action against Hull City on Good Friday, before travelling to Cardiff City on Easter Monday.