Lynden Gooch has struggled for form at Jack Ross’ Sunderland but he impressed in the League One play-off semi-final first leg against Portsmouth.

Lynden Gooch has expressed his relief after getting his season back on track in Sunderland’s League One play-off semi-final victory against Portsmouth on Saturday, as reported by The Chronicle.

The USA international was one of Sunderland’s star performers in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign but his form dipped alarmingly after Christmas, meaning he quickly lost his place in Jack Ross’ starting XI.

Gooch has not scored a goal or provided an assist since November, except barring the odd outing in the Checkatrade Trophy.

But the 23-year-old looked back to something approaching his best at the Stadium of Light this weekend, putting in a lively 70 minute performance in a 1-0 semi-final first leg triumph over Kenny Jackett’s Pompey.

And, after the game, Gooch has admitted that he was glad to contribute after a testing run.

“I’ve been out of form for a while, I’ve been under scrutiny from the fans a lot and rightly so, they know I’m what capable of and what I can bring on my day,” he said.

“Unfortunately I’ve not been able to play at the best like at the start of the season, that’s been really frustrating for me but on Saturday I thought I did well considering I came into the side late. I created some good opportunities for us to score.

“I was really enjoying it every time I got the ball and was running at them and creating chances. On another day I could have had a couple of assists but the main thing was getting the win.”

For all the criticism of Gooch’s performances, he has still scored seven goals and produced nine assists this season.

And the California-born winger could be playing Championship football again very soon if Sunderland can build on that 1-0 first-leg advantage against Portsmouth, given to them by Chris Maguire’s stunning volley.

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