HE has won Scottish Premier League titles, helped England Under-17s win the European Championship and played in the Champions League against Manchester City and Barcelona, but when it comes to career highlights, Patrick Roberts reckons Monday’s dramatic stoppage-time strike for Sunderland goes straight to the top of the list.

Roberts turned home Jack Clarke’s cross in the third minute of stoppage time at Hillsborough to earn the Black Cats a 2-1 aggregate win over Sheffield Wednesday and secure a place in the League One play-off final against Wycombe at Wembley.

The 25-year-old only joined Sunderland in January, cutting short an unsuccessful loan spell at French club Troyes in order to leave Manchester City to pen a six-month contract on Wearside, with an option for an additional year.

And while his brief spell at the Stadium of Light has already featured plenty of ups and downs, Monday’s celebratory scenes in front of Sunderland’s jubilant travelling supporters will always have a special place in his memory.

“I’ve had a few big moments in my time, in different places, but that was definitely right up there,” said Roberts. “There’s obviously still one more game to go, and hopefully we can make some more history.

“It’s definitely up there with anything I’ve done. I’ve obviously won a few trophies, and been in some top teams and been around some good players, but I think a journey like this, for a club like this, is definitely right up there in terms of a career high. It’s not over yet though. There’s more things to write, and I’m just glad to have had the opportunity to be part of it.

“That’s what I came to this club to do. I came with the aim of winning promotion. We all know that’s the aim, and we’ve all been really focused on that. It’s the same for all of us – from the lads that have been here for the last four years to the lads like me that came in January.

“It took me and Jack (to fashion Monday’s winning goal), and we’ve only come in since January, but we know what it’s like. We know what it feels like to be part of a huge club, and the aim is to get back to where the club should be. It’s just one game though – now we need to go again in the next one.”

Like Roberts, Clarke also joined Sunderland in January, penning a season-long loan deal from Tottenham.

The wing duo have become increasingly significant performers in the second half of the season, providing assists for leading scorer Ross Stewart and chipping in with crucial goals of their own to ensure the Black Cats finished in a play-off position.

They combined for Monday’s decisive stoppage-time strike, and while Aiden McGeady is back in the squad after recovering from knee-ligament surgery, their importance to Alex Neil’s plans is such that they are much more likely to start next Saturday’s play-off final than their more experienced team-mate.

“I get on really well with Jack,” said Roberts. “We see a lot of each other, and I thought he was excellent at Hillsborough. He maybe wasn’t on his game in the first leg, and I think he knew that, but in the second game, I thought he was outstanding, the way he carried the ball.

“Even in the last minute, you could see he still had that drive. Thankfully, he put the ball across to me. I’m sure, on another day, he would have wanted to have scored himself, but it just shows the togetherness we have, and that determination to win at all costs.

“He put it in the right area, and my job was to put it in the back of the net. It’s a feeling that won’t go away – and something we can take towards Wembley.”

Given that Lee Gregory’s 74th-minute goal for Sheffield Wednesday had tied things up on aggregate, many observers would have expected Neil to make changes in the closing stages of Monday’s game, with Clarke and Roberts both likely candidates to be sacrificed.

The Sunderland boss claims he always felt as though a goal was coming though, a feeling that was shared by all those playing in red-and-white on the pitch.

“I think it’s the first time he’s not really made a change,” said Roberts. “Normally, when the legs are going towards added time, you make fresh changes. But he kept with it, and he obviously knows what we’re like, with that drive and ability that all the lads have.

“The defensive side was solid as usual. That’s huge credit to Danny (Batth) and Bailey (Wright) – they’ve been outstanding. Goochy (Lynden Gooch) has played his part, and Dennis (Cirkin) has come back and done a great job too.

“Everyone in the team has been absolutely outstanding. I’m just proud to play in this team. We’ve got one more game to go – that’s what we’ve got to have our eye on, and not get carried away.”