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Jack Ross praises much-criticised Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke

Sunderland manager Jack Ross during  the Checkatrade Trophy match at Stadium of Light on December 4, 2018 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland beat Walsall 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross during  the Checkatrade Trophy match at Stadium of Light on December 4, 2018 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland boss Jack Ross has told The Sunderland Echo that he's happy for striker Charlie Wyke after he made an impact against Walsall.

The Black Cats continued their push for promotion on Saturday afternoon, as they beat Walsall 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland did fall behind as Josh Gordon put the Saddlers in front, but Lee Cattermole equalised just after the half hour mark.

 

Big-money January signing Will Grigg popped up with the winner for Sunderland, scoring against his former club to hand the Black Cats a 2-1 victory.

After Barnsley could only draw at Doncaster on Friday, Sunderland have now closed the gap to second place to just two points, and still have a game in hand too.

Ross and co are really pushing for promotion, and whilst Grigg is taking the plaudits for his match-winning goal, fellow striker Wyke caught the eye as a substitute.

Wyke has been slated by fans of late for a string of underwhelming displays, and still has just one league goal to his name for Sunderland – and that came back in September.

Sunderland's Charlie Wyke contests for the ball with Walsall's Jon Guthrie during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Sunderland and Walsall at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Saturday...

Ross praised Wyke after the game, believing he played a big part in the win and should take some confidence after a 'tough season'.

"For Charlie I am very pleased for him," said Ross. "It has been a tough season for him for a variety of seasons, a tough period of late for him. I say often enough about communicating with players a lot, it is my job to make them better and look after them and find out what we can do to help them.”

“We have encouraged him. He hasn't scored today but he played a big part in us winning the game, I hope he will take a lot of confidence and belief from that,” he added.

Charlie Wyke of Sunderland after his effort shaved the post during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Accrington Stanley at Stadium of Light on February 15, 2019 in...

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