Jack Ross discusses Charlton, when new striker will make debut and impact of owner Stewart Donald

Sunderland manager Jack Ross held his pre-match press conference earlier today.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 7:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 8:08 pm
Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

The Sunderland boss discussed the latest transfer developments while he also revealed the latest injury news and also provided an insight into how he felt pre-season had gone and the challenge posed by Charlton Athletic this Saturday lunchtime.

Ross also spoke about the positive impact of new owner Stewart Donald this summer.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

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Scroll down for some of the highlights from today and recap more in our live blog here:When will Charlie Wyke make his SAFC debut?

Ross said: "We’ve always believed we could get him here and I think he wanted to come here as well, which is obviously an important part of it.

"In terms of when he’s available, we hope sooner rather than later, within the next three weeks hopefully he should get back to being involved with me.

"If he takes a little bit longer than that, that might be the case but that’s the aim for me and for him as a player.

"He’s desperate to be involved because actually his injury record is very good and his appearance record is terrific over the last few years, it’s just unfortunate the timing of this particular injury."

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"I think pre-season periods are long and eventful - such as this one! I think when you get towards the end of that then the excitement of the first game is always there.

"We’ve put a lot of work in over these last six or seven weeks as the players have come back in. It was nice for them to train at the Stadium of Light this morning and get that feel for the pitch because obviously we haven’t managed to play a game there.

"We keep saying all the time that we’d like to be further ahead in terms of where we’re at, but equally the excitement doesn’t dull nonetheless."

What kind of challenge will Charlton pose?

Ross said: "First of all, it’s a really tough opening game for us when you look at the teams that filled the top positions in the table last year, it’s a team that obviously reached the playoffs and a big club as well, probably one that has went through some sort of turbulent period in recent times and they’ve also had injuries to contend with during pre-season.

"So, there’s a little bit of synergy between the two clubs in that respect.

"The one difference being that they obviously enjoyed a relatively successful period season last year and we didn’t.

"I think it’s a tough game for us and I would imagine that they’re a club who believe that they will challenge again in those automatic or playoff spots."

Ross on Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven impact:

"I think what they have done is be very open in their communication and that probably goes against the grain a little bit in terms of what football clubs are like nowadays, and by all accounts a little bit against the grain of what it’s been like here in recent times.

"I’m probably fairly comfortable with it because I try to be fairly open in my own communication.

"I’m learning all the time, and I’m sure they are as well but I don’t think that anybody can argue with the atmosphere and the positivity that they’ve managed to generate - which is credit to them because having two consecutive relegations and managing to create this buzz around the place just adds to the expectations upon my shoulders."

On George Honeyman being named skipper:

Ross said: "I’m actually lucky that I think I’ve found the captain that ticks all of those - normally you might have to give a little on some of them and they might have strengths in other areas.

"I know when I spoke to him about it he fulfilled the role in pre-season and we’d assessed how he’d handled that, and I spoke to him properly and he was thrilled to bits - it means an awful lot to him.

"I’m sure if you speak to him individually you’ll find that from him. He’s got a massive incentive to be the Sunderland captain that lifts the trophy - and its a possibility - and that for him is a huge carrot.

"I look forward to seeing how he grows with it and I look forward to him hopefully being a successful Sunderland captain - because I know that’s certainly his aim."