Lee Johnson issues a message to Sunderland squad ahead of Fleetwood

The dust had barely settled on Sunderland's win over Burton Albion but the message from Lee Johnson was a clear one.

Thrilled with his side's performance, the head coach told his players to enjoy the win but to be ready on Monday for the next one.

Johnson has talked of 'flattening the waves' amongst his group, ensuring they do not get too high after victory and too low after a defeat.

Consistency is key for Sunderland and there was no mistaking Johnson's satisfaction with the way his team produced a convincing 3-0 win at The Pirelli Stadium.

Sunderland celebrate Grant Leadbitter's opening goal at Burton Albion

Simon Grayson's Fleetwood Town present the next challenge at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night and Johnson wants to see that conviction again from his players.

"I think that comes from the previous result, I think it comes from a clarity of the job role and what we’re asking the players to do," he said.

"What we want is that football arrogance. I think that’s the correct phrase for it because it’s not complacency, it’s not over-confidence, it’s just about having a belief in what we’re doing and in what they bring in terms of their own unique USPs to the individual position.

"I couldn’t discredit any player today for that at Burton – I thought they all, to a man, were absolutely outstanding. It wasn’t cocky or disrespectful – it was a very controlled performance.

"We have to go again [Tuesday], simple as that.

"We'll assess this one because there were still a couple of things that we didn't do that well, and we want to make sure that we're always piling the pressure on the opponent and having as much control as possible."

Johnson is likely to again have to call upon his players to deliver in unfamiliar roles on Tuesday night.

Bailey Wright is expected to be out for a further two to three weeks with a small calf tear, and Johnson is not expecting any of his other defensive options to be fit for Fleetwood's visit.

Oliver Younger and Tom Flanagan are both set to return to training this week, but the expectation has been that his contest would come too soon and that the trip to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday is a more realistic target.

Luke O'Nien and Lynden Gooch in particular excelled in a makeshift back five and the head coach has been full of praise for the way both have willingly embraced the change for the good of the team.

"Both him and Luke O'Nien have been absolutely fantastic because we've had to use them in three or four positions," Johnson said.

"I'm very happy with those two but I'm very happy with everyone, it was a very professional performance."

Fleetwood have won just one game in 2021, but that was a convincing recent win over Doncaster Rovers and Grayson insists he is seeing positive signs after a 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

"I’m really pleased but disappointed at the same time- really pleased with the performance, how we competed, how we played and the football we played, the number of chances we created and how we responded after going a goal down," he said.

"We’re disappointed we haven’t won the game because I thought we dominated the game."

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor