Sunderland attacker Lynden Gooch says the team’s 1-0 win over Portsmouth this past weekend has given the belief that they can go on and earn promotion to the EFL Championship.
The Black Cats claimed a 1-0 home win over Pompey at the Stadium of Light in the first leg of their EFL League One playoff semifinal, with Christopher Maguire scoring the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute.
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They had to hang on for the victory after Alim Ozturk was sent off midway through the second half.
Sunderland now head to the south coast of England to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park for the return game, which will be live on Fox Sports 2 from 20h40 CAT on Thursday night.
“We know we're good enough and we showed that again on Saturday,” Gooch told Sunderland’s official website.
“We were really solid after the red, really compact, everyone worked really hard off the ball. It was a good performance.”
The American added, “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.
“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 consider 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.”
The winners on aggregate will advance to the League One playoff final against either Doncaster Rovers or Charlton Athletic.