Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful adversity has helped gel his team together as they prepare for their Championship play-off semi-final showdown with Luton.
A dramatic final day of the regular season saw the Black Cats sneak into the final play-off spot after goals from Amad Diallo, Alex Pritchard and Jack Clarke secured a 3-0 win against Preston.
Their place was then cemented after Blackburn mounted a stunning comeback against Millwall to end the Lions’ hopes of a top-six finish.
Sunderland’s path to the play-offs has been made all the more remarkable given the injuries they have faced throughout the season and Mowbray admitted it has been a “frustrating spell”.
He told a pre-match press conference: “I think because of the nature of the way the injuries have piled up, they’ve all been long-term injuries and all been one on top of one another in pretty crucial areas of the pitch.
“It’s been a frustrating spell for us, we’ve talked about losing Ross (Stewart) early in the season and losing goals, but goals haven’t really been a problem for us with the players that we’ve got.
“We’re sitting here now about to play against a pretty physical, strong, direct team who are very connected and work extremely hard for each other without really any central defenders.
What a day!!! Ha’Way the Lads
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