45 minutes of football, one winning goal and one trophy, things have started to click into gear for ex-Ross County star Ross Stewart at Sunderland.

The tall striker collected a Papa John’s Trophy winners’ medal at the weekend after being named as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers. His Sunderland debut came on Wednesday night against Accrington Stanley and he scored the winner from the bench in a 2-0 win.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

Good start for the former Staggie. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images )

It puts Sunderland just one place outside automatic promotion and Lee Johnson is thrilled with the former Ross County star, who joined the Black Cats in January: “It was a good change in terms of sending Rossco [Stewart] on, we needed that bit more of a platform because we were asking Charlie [Wyke] to do a lot against three big lads.

“It was just a tactical tweak and I was delighted for him to come on and score his goal – that’s one game, one goal, one medal! We’ve missed him, I think. I believe in what a good player he is because we did our research into him not only as a footballer, but as a human as well.

“We spent money when no-one is really spending money, so I think that shows how much we believe in him. It was a coup. “He’s tall, he’s mobile, he’s got a good touch. No disrespect to Ross County but hopefully he will be getting more chances in our team than he did [with them].

Sunderland v Tranmere Rovers - Papa John's Trophy Final

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

“Ross spent a lot of time defending there, but here hopefully he can spend a lot of time attacking. I’m delighted for him, actually, because this is a big club to come to. He came in with an injury, he then had a recurrence of that injury, so he needed to find his place in the squad and at this level and this is a step towards doing that.”

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