LEE Johnson was delighted with his side after Sunderland’s 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley kept his side top of the League One table.

Dan Neil’s first senior goal put the Black Cats ahead before Michael Nottingham headed Stanley back into the game.

Carl Winchester broke free from the right hand side into the box from Aidan McGeady’s through ball and stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

The victory meant that Sunderland have now won four games out of four at the Stadium of Light and have just lost one game from eight in all competitions.

Manager Johnson, who recently claimed the League One Manager of the Month award maintained that Stanley were tough opponents but emphasised the need for his side to continue their work in the same vein with a trip to Fleetwood awaiting them next weekend.

Johnson said: “It was a difficult game and I knew it would be, I know how well John does with this team.

“They're a big, strong, aggressive and good side. We gave away too many needless set plays in the first half, giving them away when they opponent is facing away from goal. That's what they want and what they play for, and they cause you problems.

“I did think we were very slick when we broke through the press and my frustration is probably that we didn't score more goals.
“However, we're still a team that's growing and in a learning phase.

“It was a great goal from Dan Neil and that was a real win for the academy and everybody involved in his development.

“It was definitely a lump in the throat moment as that went in because he's such a lovely lad. He's got to continue to stay focused, you can't lose that but I really don't think he will.

“We've got so much growth still in us, and we need to keep dealing with these challenges.

“We've been tested this season against strong sides. I don't think we've played any teams in the bottom half yet, which shows how strong the league is.

“I think the fans see that, as well.

“It was good entertainment, I'd have liked to see us get one or two more but I'm sure they would say the same.

“We need to keep progressing, learning, and finding a way to win.

“That's what's impressive about so far, we've shown quality but we've also battled and I think the fans have played their part in that.

“The fans can see the commitment, and the youth we've got in the team.

“We can all see the mistakes but it's young players and they're seeing other young players recover, and that can be really powerful moving forward.”