SUNDERLAND will lodge an appeal against the red card issued to Alim Ozturk in the hope of clearing the centre-half to face Portsmouth on Thursday.

The Black Cats take a 1-0 lead into the second-leg of the League One play-off tie thanks to a cracking strike from Chris Maguire.

But minutes after the substitute’s goal, Ozturk was red carded by referee Andy Woolmer for a foul on Gareth Evans as the Pompey man broke in on goal. Evans' tiouch was taking him away from goal, but Woolmer deemed he had been denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Ross said: “My reaction at the time was that it was impossible to tell at first if it was a foul, but my only criticism was if it was a goal scoring opportunity? I think the touch has taken him the wrong side of the box. Having watched it again I am still of that opinion.

“We will appeal on that basis – I don’t think it was clear and obvious. I may always say that but I take a balanced view on it. You can’t do anything about it once it’s happened, then it’s about finding a way to try and win the game.’’

The opening half of the game was a drab affair, with  neither side offering much going forward.

But things sparked up into life after the introduction of Maguire. His crisp volley proved decisive.

Ross admitted: “I think we knew coming into two-legged ties that first leg tends to be a little bit tense. The first-half of the game was that and second was better.

“You would take any sort of advantages before the game going into the second leg and particularly how the game panned out we are pleased.

“We brought Chris on knowing he can bring that bit of quality, either creating or scoring, and we were on the front foot then, in the ascendency and he is always capable of that. You want to capitalise on that at the time.’’

Just 26,610 were inside the Stadium of Light, a crowd down on regular League One attendances this season.

But Ross admitted the home faithful helped his side over the line in the second-half as they saw the game out with ten men.

“I felt the crowd were terrific second-half and came to life second half. The whole game was like that,’’ he said.

“We started to play better, came to life in the second-half the crowd responded and played a huge part in helping us see out the game. The game management was good, but we know the atmosphere helps us.’’