Jack Ross has sent out an important message to his players ahead of Thursday’s seismic Play-Off second leg at Portsmouth.
Sunderland take a slender 1-0 lead with them to Fratton Park, thanks to Chris Maguire’s sensational second-half volley at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats were then later reduced to 10 men when Alim Ozturk saw red for a challenge on Gareth Evans.
However, the Lads held firm to see out their first win in four attempts this season against Pompey to take an advantage into Thursday’s return leg.
Speaking to safc.com, Ross refused to get carried away and was quick to refocus as Sunderland now prepare to take on Portsmouth in their own back yard.
“There’s character in that dressing room from the players and staff,” he said.
“People have had to work had to be involved again and be a part of this club and they did that again at the weekend. Saturday was just one step towards achieving our goal.
“We’ve got another difficult one on Thursday, but we want to make sure we have another one after that too.
“All season long the players have shown a real desire to get this club promoted.
“We came into the game on Saturday with that determination and we got our rewards. Now, we’ve got to show the same level again on Thursday.”