Sunderland forward Ross Stewart has admitted that there will be extra motivation for his side to secure victory in their showdown with Rotherham United tomorrow night following the outcome of the reverse fixture earlier this season.
The Black Cats were completely outclassed by the Millers at the AESSEAL New York Stadium in October as the Yorkshire-based outfit secured a 5-1 victory.
Stewart provided the only moment of enjoyment for the club’s travelling supporters on what was a miserable afternoon as he briefly levelled proceedings in this clash.
Since opting to appoint Alex Neil as their new manager, Sunderland have only suffered one defeat in their last 15 league games.
Currently fourth in the League One standings, the Black Cats will move three points clear of Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers if they beat Rotherham at the Stadium of Light.
However, given that the Millers will be aiming to build a gap between them and MK Dons in the race for automatic promotion, Sunderland know that they will need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to secure a positive result tomorrow.
Speaking to Chronicle Live ahead of this fixture about whether the manner of his side’s defeat to Rotherham will provide the club with some extra motivation to win on Tuesday, Stewart said: “Yeah for the boys who that played in that, that will certainly be motivation but at the same time you can’t let that overtake what’s there.
“You just have to play the game and try to do well in the game.
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“We were back in on Sunday to prepare for the game, come up with the tactics on how we can hurt them and stop them hurting us.
“We will just look forward to it because it puts an edge on these fixtures and that’s what you want as a player.”
Sunderland’s season will be defined by the outcome of their next two league games as a failure to deliver the goods against Rotherham and Morecambe may result in the club missing out on a place in the play-offs depending on results elsewhere.
The Black Cats will be confident in their ability to cause issues for Rotherham due to the fact that they have won four of their last five league games.
Having netted a brace against Cambridge United last weekend, Stewart will be keen to make a difference for his side once again in tomorrow’s showdown.
By adding to the 29 direct goal contributions that he has provided for Sunderland in third-tier during Tuesday’s game, the forward could help his side secure a crucial victory over the Millers.