Sunderland boss Jack Ross delivers verdict on Luton and Barnsley ahead of promotion run-in
Sunderland boss Jack Ross has praised promotion rivals Luton and Barnsley for their consistent form throughout the season.
The Black Cats are four points adrift of the automatic promotion places ahead of tomorrow's meeting with the Tykes - albeit with a game in hand on the top two sides.
With 11 fixtures to go, Sunderland have lost just twice in the league this season, away at Burton and Portsmouth, yet promotion from League One remains in the balance.
Luton haven't lost in the league since October 13, while Barnsley are unbeaten in the third tier since December 8.
Sunderland will hope to end the Tykes' run at Oakwell on Tuesday night, and Ross was full of praise for Daniel Stendel's side ahead of the clash.
"If you look at the clubs that have dominated, either winning runs or fewest losses or most goals or fewest goals, the reality is that three of those clubs that have dominated through the EFL are in this league," said Ross in his pre-match press conference.
"Luton, Barnsley and ourselves all statistically have really good things about their season to date.
"The challenging thing, not just for us but for Luton and Barnsley, is that three of those teams are in the same league.
"Their form has been good consistently for a number of months, as has ours, and they deserve to be where they are in the league at the moment.
"It's about us continuing to keep pace with that and hopefully overcoming it."
Barnsley haven't lost at Oakwell for nearly a year and Ross knows the difficultly of the task at hand.
Even so, the Black Cats won't change their approach ahead of the promotion clash.
"Every game at Sunderland is must-win and I’ve been like that since the day I took this job," added Ross.
"Where the opposition are in the league doesn’t change our approach.
"It will be a different game, they'll play it and approach it in a different manner.
"A lot of times this season we've been at our best in those types of games and against good opposition team."