Sunderland defender not concentrating on Wigan and Rotherham results and issues rallying cry ahead of Portsmouth clash

Sunderland defender Bailey Wright still believes the team are in a promising position despite conceding late goals at Wycombe and Accrington Stanley in recent weeks.

Following a strong run in December, the Black Cats have taken just two points from their last three matches and missed the chance to go top of the table at Accrington.

Despite being reduced to ten men after defender Ross Sykes was sent off, Stanley rescued a point when Mitchell Clark converted an equaliser six minutes from time.

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“It’s frustrating because we’ve thrown away the win there,” said Wright after the game. “I thought we managed the game pretty well, obviously bar the goal.

Sunderland defender Bailey Wright.

“They are a big physical side and make it difficult, you know what you are going to get when you come to Accrington.

“They came away with the draw and are probably more delighted than what we are.

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“There are little lessons to be learnt but I think we can look at the last few results, things haven’t been good enough.

“We put in a really good run before that and have still put ourselves in a good position.

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“Of course we are disappointed and frustrated but we’re not going to get too down about it because there was a lot of good.

“There was a lot that could have been a lot better, which is like any game, but we’ll pick ourselves up and prepare for the next one.”

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Sunderland’s next game will come against Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light this weekend, while some of the Black Cats’ promotion rivals will be in action on Tuesday.

Due to fixture postponements, Wigan have five games in hand on Sunderland and are just three points behind Lee Johnson’s side.

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The Latics will travel to Morecambe in midweek, while third-place Rotherham will host Lincoln.

"It’s one of them, you can’t take into consideration any other teams,” said Wright.

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“Our sort of focus is on the opposition we play in the next game regardless of what the fixtures might look like for the opposition.

“We just focus on who we are playing, prepare to win that game and hopefully we have managed to come through Covid.

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“We have had injuries and a little bit of Covid but ultimately we stick together.

“I’m sure there will be situations that aren’t ideal but our focus now is there’s no midweek game, we can prepare and work on a few things.”

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Wright was one of the players who returned to the starting XI against Accrington following an injury setback, while Leon Dajaku and Thorben Hoffmann came back into the team after testing positive for Covid-19.

"It isn’t ideal preparation but do you ever get ideal preparation for a season? Probably not,” added Wright when asked about the team’s recent absences.

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“No one likes being injured or missing out with Covid because it’s a few days where you are stuck in your house and can’t get out.

“These challenges are faced by everyone so whether we find it difficult or not it’s the same for everyone and you just have to crack on.”

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