'Ipswich will be right up there' - Sunderland boss Johnson

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson reacts during the Sky Bet League One match at the Stadium Of Light, S

Sunderland boss, Lee Johnson, pleased with his side. - Credit: PA

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson heaped praise on his side after they gained all three points against Ipswich, at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

The Black Cats left it late, but two goals in the final minutes saw them leap back into the play-off places and put seven points between themselves and Town in 10th, as they ran out 2-0 victors.

“I think it was one of our best performances” Johnson told the Sunderland Echo.

“It wasn’t Ajax or Barcelona in their heyday, but we hassled and harried.

“It wasn’t champagne football, we had to deal with their quality but everybody stayed concentrated.

“I think we healed and progressed as a team today because young players showed their steel.

“The players and staff fully deserve that win and I’ve got immense pride in the group and that includes the fans, because it’s been tough.

Christian Walton is beaten by Aiden McGeady from the penalty spot at Sunderland

Christian Walton is beaten by Aiden McGeady from the penalty spot at Sunderland - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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“We’ve made it tough but in this division only the toughest survive. At times we needed our goalkeeper, at times we should have delivered better than we did."

Johnson admitted that Ipswich had enjoyed 'control' of the game, but noted that in the second half his keeper, Thorben Hoffmann, had been largely untroubled.

And he said Paul Cook's side are viable automatic promotion contenders, underling the importance of Sunderland's win.

Ipswich players dejected after conceding the first late goal at Sunderland

Ipswich players dejected after conceding the first late goal at Sunderland - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"I thought it was a tough game for both teams," Johnson added.

"Ipswich, when their two central midfielders roll out into those pockets they get a lot of control, and they're very good at it.

Macauley Bonne under pressure at Sunderland

Macauley Bonne under pressure at Sunderland. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"But I always felt we could be dangerous when we won the ball back and played a good first pass.

"It probably wasn't good enough, often enough. First 20 minutes we were poor, we had a game plan and we didn't administer it, but after that I was pretty pleased.

"They had control in the second half, but it's what you do with the ball and we've seen that ourselves this season.

"There's the odd give-away and I think it was a good League One game that we’ve edged based on that counter-attacking ability.

"Ipswich are a very good side, a really good professional organisation who will be right up there.

To get a win, after the recent run we've had, is really important for us and the project."

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