Lee Cattermole believes Sunderland’s players stood up when it mattered most and deservedly booked their place in next Sunday’s Play-Off Final.
The 31-year-old starred alongside Grant Leadbitter in the middle of the park on Thursday as the Black Cats played out a goalless draw at Fratton Park to defeat Portsmouth 1-0 on aggregate.
Jack Ross’ side will now take on Charlton Athletic for a place in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday 26 May at Wembley Stadium.
Speaking about the Lads’ semi-final win over Pompey, Catts heralded the desire within the ranks to deal with hostile conditions and get the job done.
“If you go away from home with a one goal lead in a play-off semi-final then that is the performance you want,” he said.
“To a man over both legs the players have responded really well to a difficult end to the season and I thought we were different class. The gaffer said at half-time we could be better on the ball at the break, we knew that and we improved.
“Our mentality going into the game was really strong.
“We have now had two clean sheets against them, they are an experienced bunch of lads and we have had some tough games against them.
“We stood up, we did well and deserve to go through,” he continued.
“Jon [McLaughlin] has been different class all season, week in week out different class and no different Thursday night - he has brought a real calmness to the squad all season.”