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Stephen Elliott says 3 Sunderland stars have shown they have the 'ruthlessness required to win things'

Sunderland icon Stephen Elliott has singled Luke O’Nien, Max Power and Conor McLaughlin out as three Black Cats players who personify the “ruthlessness required to win things”.

The Black Cats beat Tranmere 1-0 in Sunday’s EFL Trophy final at Wembley, Lynden Gooch scoring the winner for Lee Johnson’s side.

It was Sunderland’s first triumph at Wembley since 1973, and with the Stadium of Light outfit also flying high in League One, the makings are there for a memorable and successful season.

(Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

While Gooch got the game’s only goal, numerous players shone for the Black Cats.

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O’Nien was once again superb at centre-half, showing great awareness, ability and distribution, while Power did well prior to Corey Blackett-Taylor’s introduction and McLaughlin shone off the bench.

And Elliott spoke highly of the above three, as well as Gooch and goalkeeper Lee Burge, in his latest Sunderland Echo column.

“Gooch, who had a quiet afternoon, is a reliable player in front of goal and will now go down in the history books as scoring a Wembley winner for the club,” he wrote.  “I’m delighted for him as he has been through a lot since his rise into the first team.

The ruthlessness required to win things and be successful as a squad was personified by the likes of Luke O’Nien, who again was immense, Max Power and Conor McLaughlin who put their bodies on the line to stop the opposition scoring all through the game.

This sends out the message that this team will not be beaten at any cost and that mentality makes it very difficult for other teams…. Lee Burge again stood tall when required and he was required a bit on Sunday.”

Up next for Sunderland is Wednesday night’s League One trip to Accrington Stanley.

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