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Alex Neil speaks out on Jack Clarke’s role in Sunderland win over Sheffield Wednesday

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Sunderland have had an impressive season this year and carried on their good form yesterday as they came from one behind to restore their aggregate advantage and progress to the play-off final. 

The Black Cats faced Sheffield Wednesday in the second leg of their play-off semi-final. Sunderland went into the game with a one goal advantage after beating Wednesday in the first leg.

The Owls looked as though they could take the game to extra time when they scored in the 74th minute taking it to 1-1 on aggregate.

However, Patrick Roberts was able to put things right for Sunderland again as he scored in the 93rd minute getting on the end of a cross from Jack Clarke.

Clarke, who is on loan from Tottenham, produced a great display supporting his side at both ends of the pitch and Sunderland manager Alex Neil was full of praise for the 21-year-old as he told the Chronicle: “It’s what happens with players, particularly young ones, they dip and they come back, they dip and they come back.

“Jack has got good quality. He can take the ball, he can dribble, he can go past people, and those kind of players are really useful to have in the team and he delivered the moment we needed and Pat [Roberts] got on the end of it.

“The hardest thing always is to get really creative players to work extremely hard, but our lads have got an appetite and an understanding of the greater good. The rest of their teammates demand it. I demand it, and they demand it of themselves. You don’t win anything without hard work and graft – that’s a pre-requisite – and then, as for the rest of it, you’ve got quality, that’s a bonus. We’ve got that quality and we also put in the hard work and the graft.”

Quiz: Which club did Sunderland sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?

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Emerson Thome?

Looking ahead to the play-off final against Wycombe Wanderers, Neil said: “The belief they’ve got in this team, the run that we’ve been on, the fact that we keep scoring late goals and coming back. I’ll be confident and they’ll be confident, but we know that we need to go and deliver.”

The Verdict: 

Jack Clarke had a brilliant game for Sunderland yesterday and it’s good to see him get the credit he deserves from his manager.

At only 21-years-old, the fact he was able to have an impact across the whole of the pitch shows his talent and the promise he has too.

Neil will no doubt be keen to use the youngster in the play-off final too in the hope that he will have the same impact.

Although the Sunderland boss will need to make sure he prepares his player for the big occasion properly.


Passionate football fan supporting Barnet FC and Newcastle United. Currently studying a masters at UCFB alongside writing for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alex Neil speaks out on Jack Clarke’s role in Sunderland win over Sheffield Wednesday

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