Jack Ross reveals the key factor he wants to see his Sunderland players improve

Lee Cattermole concedes a free-kick in the 1-1 draw with Oxford United. Picture by Frank Reid.
Lee Cattermole concedes a free-kick in the 1-1 draw with Oxford United. Picture by Frank Reid.

Sunderland’s new-found resilience continues to impress Jack Ross but he believes there is still room for improvement.

The Black Cats’ maintained their unbeaten start after coming from a goal and a man down against Oxford United.

Half-time sub Charlie Wyke - making his first appearance after a knee injury - rescued a point with a close range finish after good work from Lynden Gooch.

It is the fourth time Sunderland have come from behind this season.

Ross says every game Sunderland are playing has a huge intensity about it given the Black Cats are the biggest club in the division and therefore the biggest scalp to take.

Ross said: “The resilience side of it has been good but our mentality still has to improve in terms of the challenges we will face in this league and how we deal with them, the games have

been very different.

“What I am finding is every away game has a real intensity about it but so do the home games.

“Teams are coming here and it is a massive game, the away support, it is seen as a terrific stadium to visit and the opposition players are rising to that.

“They will also be thinking ‘if we get a result ,it is fantastic scalp to take’. It is about understanding that, I include myself too.

“The resilience side has been outstanding and that is a big sea change for them.

“They understand they are facing a lot of challenges in the opening games and they know they can do it.

“They are showing it time after time.”

Ross praised his side for their efforts after playing for 70 minutes a man down.

He added: “I have spoken a lot about how we have made the pitch longer and wider again, to hopefully help us at home.

“Then we have had to play on that pitch for almost 80 minutes [including added-on time] with ten men. It is a big physical effort to do that, we are chasing the game as well and it adds to that.”