Lee Johnson delighted with impact from January signing Ross Stewart



Posted Thursday, March 18, 2021 by PA

Lee Johnson delighted with impact from January signing Ross Stewart

Lee Johnson believed debutant Ross Stewart showed his worth after he scored to help promotion-chasing Sunderland to a 2-0 win at Accrington.

The striker signed from Ross County in January in a £300,000 deal and had been injured since.

But after being an unused substitute at Wembley on Sunday as Sunderland lifted the EFL Trophy, he marked his debut with a 62nd-minute looping header to give the Black Cats the lead.

Charlie Wyke made it safe in the 86th minute with his 27th goal of the season as the visitors extended their unbeaten run to 10 games and moved up to third in League One.

Johnson said: “We paid money for Ross which many clubs didn’t in the window, we researched him as a player and a human.

“I know what a good player he is and we signed him to be a key player. He is tall, mobile, strong and has got a good touch.

“He came with an injury and suffered a recurrence of it but I am delighted for him with his goal. He has one game, one goal and one medal!”

On his team’s performance, Johnson added: “We showed a good attitude and energy as it was a difficult game and it was a battle.

“It’s another clean sheet, they had a couple of chances, they have some big lads and were a danger from set plays but in general we were solid and composed.

“We spent a good hour today talking about controlling the controllables. We can’t control things like the pitch but we can control the tempo and our attitude.

“It’s the first time in a long time the players are getting adulation and we have to try and actually ignore it and just control what we can.”

Accrington, who have lost three in a row, missed two good chances in the first half, with Paul Smyth firing wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper and Harvey Rodgers heading over.

John Coleman said: “We had three chances and took none of them, they had three and took two.

“On another night if we had taken our chances it would have been a different game.

“The first was a terrible goal to concede, we didn’t defend a throw in and it’s not a great header and the second wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t conceded the first.

“I can’t fault the effort and it’s easy to moan about injuries and so on but we have to get on with it, we have to roll our sleeves up.

“We have no one to blame but ourselves. We made mistakes and they punished us, they made mistakes and we didn’t punish them. We are on a bad run but we have to address that and be better than we are in the opposition box.”

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