Sunderland travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in the second leg of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off.
Ahead of the away tie, Head Coach Tony Mowbray discussed the main talking points surrounding this evening’s showdown.
What are your thoughts ahead of the second leg against Luton?
“We believe we can compete against anybody in the league.
“We’re against a team who finished 11 points above us, third in the league, had a fantastic season, they’ve been growing their club for the last three or four years. They’ve got an experienced group of players and you can feel their comradeship.
“I think we did amazing to come out on top in the first game. I’m not anticipating too much difference the second game, it’s a tighter environment.
“I’m very respectful of Luton. Having played against them for the last four or five years, you can see their growth.
“They look strong, athletic and confident and they’ve got a way of playing that they all understand.”
Injuries have been a story of the season. Do you feel like the players have relished the challenges this has brought?
“Adversity is a strong bonder of players. They all take it on board and listen.
“As I’ve said all season-long, these players have got strong growth mindsets.
“It’s an interesting concoction so it’s a huge credit to them that they’ve managed to keep the togetherness really tight and they fight so hard for each other.”
You’ve instilled a belief that when you go behind in a game, they can come back and win it like in the last game. How have you managed to do that?
“I think that’s the fans. The supporters have been amazing, they stick with the team right to the end.
“Patrick’s [Roberts] goal against Watford, the stadium looked full and everybody was with the team.
“Football is an emotional game and I think the emotion coming from the stands is what drives the team.
“It’s going to be a different scenario tomorrow night. We won’t have anywhere near as many fans as we might want in their stadium, but the players will still find the energy, desire, the drive and hopefully the bravery to play the way we want to play and try and get the result that everybody wants.”