Wigan Athletic spirit needed, admits Sunderland star Max Power
Max Power believes Wigan Athletic-esque spirit is required for Sunderland to get over the line and achieve their promotion dream.
The midfielder, who joined the Black Cats at the beginning of the campaign, has twice won promotion from League One in the last three years with Latics.
But there's work still to do if he - and fellow former Wiganers Will Grigg and Reece James - are to make it three in four.
With three games to go, fourth-placed Sunderland are four points adrift of second-placed Barnsley - with a game in hand.
However, that is against third-placed Portsmouth, who can climb above Barnsley into second if they win.
Sunderland's fate would still be in their own hands had Power's goal at Peterborough on Easter Monday not been cancelled out by a 97th-minute leveller.
And he's hoping those two dropped points don't come back to haunt them in the final reckoning.
"There’s no point dressing it up, it’s unacceptable, especially at this stage of the season,” Power said.
“With three games left all we can do now is take maximum points and see where it takes us.
"I’m not going to sugar-coat it, we’ve drawn far too many games.
"If we don’t go up is Peterborough the one that’s cost us? Not for me, it’s happened too many times.
"We should be out of sight, we’re not.
“We’ve got three games left, one of them’s against Portsmouth so we can go back above them, then it’s unfortunately us depending on Barnsley slipping up.
“Come the end of the season we’ll finish on a points total we deserve, everyone does.
“There’s no luck to where you finish."
Power still keeps tabs on Latics, and says Sunderland can take heart from Paul Cook's men's recent results.
“You look at Wigan going to Leeds last week – no-one expected them to win," Power acknowledged.
"And we’re going to need something like that with Barnsley. It’s advantage Barnsley at this point.
“I’ve been involved in promotion run-ins a few times in this league and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this amount of teams with this amount of points.
“I’ve spoken before about the challenges we’ve faced this season.
“I’ve played for Wigan, who are a great club, but it’s not a club the size of Sunderland.
"And playing for a club this size comes with the territory of everyone raising their game.
“The club’s come a long way for where it’s been the last few years.
"It’s certainly a rebuilding process but I’ve never shied away from the fact I’m here to get promoted.
"Hopefully we achieve that and it’s automatic but if not we’ll have to address the play-offs."