Jack Ross and Doncaster Rovers boss explain how Sunderland's gameplan led to crucial win

Jack Ross was pleased that his Sunderland’s side ‘brave’ tactical approach to their clash with Doncaster Rovers paid off.

By Phil Smith
Friday, 19 April, 2019, 22:26

The Black Cats responded to two disappointing results on home turf last week by keeping a clean sheet and securing a convincing 2-0 win.

Ross had changed the shape of his side for this challenging contest, bolstering his midfield and dropping Will Grigg to the bench.

Two first-half goals set Sunderland on their way to a crucial victory

A controlled performance was worthy reward and kept Sunderland’s fate in their own hands.

“We were aware of the results before the game, and the importance of winning,” Ross said.

“You should always reflect, how you approach the games and what you can do better.

“We had to be slightly brave in how we approached the game, came off the game a bit more and allowed the opposition more possession.

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“Our discipline was really good, it has been a little learning experience but it is not easy to do that here, the expectation that comes with the size of the crowd, you always have to be on the front foot so the early goal helped the way we wanted to play.”

Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann was left frustrated with his side and their ‘safe’ play on the ball.

“I’m very disappointed. We were nowhere near where we needed to be in the first half, and Sunderland deserved to be 2-0 up, possibly more.

“We lacked any sort of energy and probably for the whole day, we were much too safe as a team. I haven’t said that many times this year. It’s not what I’m about, and it’s not what my team is about, but I thought we were very safe today.

“When I say safe, I mean there weren’t many times we got at their back four, weren’t many times we played it forward. We were playing backwards and sideways, and that makes it difficult.

“Sunderland came with a game plan to sit behind the ball and stop us from getting in behind, but we didn’t threaten them anywhere near enough.

“It was a bit of a case of, ‘This is Sunderland – what’s going to happen’, and that surprised me a bit about the team. But we haven’t got time to dwell on it. We’ve got another three tough games coming up, starting on Tuesday at home to Accrington, and we’ve got to respond.”