Sunderland manager Lee Johnson admits his side are in a “great position” in the League One table following their 1-0 over Bristol Rovers at The Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Aiden O’Brien’s first half strike was enough to secure all three points for the Black Cats, meaning they have now won ten of their last 12 games in all competitions.
That run means that Sunderland a now third in the League One table, two points adrift of the automatic promotion places but with games in hand on the sides above them, Hull and Peterborough.
As a result, Johnson certainly appears to be pleased with where his side have put themselves, even if he does not want to get carried away too soon.
Speaking to The Chronicle after that win, Johnson said: “We’ve put ourselves in a great position, and the first thing we have to do is make sure we get a points tally that secures a play-off place and then go from there.
“It’s no different to being a side that is trying to stay clear of relegation and then build your way up the league. I was pleased with the result today of course, that’s always the most important thing.”
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Despite that, it seems Johnson is still well aware that there is much yet to be decided, as he went on to add: “I haven’t seen the other results from around everywhere but we just have to keep doing our bit and keep doing it well. There are still 30 points to play for, and we have to focus on that.”
Next up for Sunderland in their battle for a place in the Championship next season, is the visit of Oxford to The Stadium of Light on Friday afternoon, before a trip to top two rivals Peterborough on Monday.
I do think that this is probably the right thing for Johnson to say with regards to his side’s current standing.
There can be no denying that this is an excellent run for Sunderland that they are currently on, and they do deserve credit for that.
However, they cannot afford to get carried away at the same time, given we know how quickly things can change in football, and there is still time for that happen.
As a result, it is going to be fascinating to see how Sunderland fare over the next few weeks, given the chance to secure promotion is one that is now in their own hands.