Jack Ross gives Sunderland's perspective on Manchester City Checkatrade fixture row

Jack Ross says Manchester City's disappointment with the Checkatrade Trophy schedule is 'irrelevant' to him.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 4:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 4:44 pm
Jack Ross has given Sunderland's view on the Checkatrade scheduling row

Reports on Wednesday said City had been left 'furious' with the EFL's insistence that the game be played next Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola had wanted to play a number of youngsters in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Burton Albion the following evening.

Sunderland were reluctant to change the scheduled date for the game and after a prolonged wait, were finally given confirmation by the EFL that it would take place on the designated date.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

That has left the club with a matter of days to sell tickets and carry out their preparations for the quarter final.

"The only thing I would say is, we plan four to six weeks to advance," Ross said.

"In terms of our schedule, where we're at, training wise, when players are off etc.

"As soon as the Newcastle game is finished, my schedule works on the basis that we had the game either the Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

"That's it.

"It had always been the case that if we got through, the game would be that week, so it was simple as that for me.

"The noise around it has been irrelevant to me.

"Any dissent about it is really between the EFL and Manchester City themselves."

The EFL said on Wednesday night that it had a 'significant amount of sympathy' with Manchester City's position.

"With no mutual agreement between the clubs, the decision fell to the executive of the EFL," it said.

"There is a significant amount of sympathy with the position outlined by Manchester City and the fact that the dating of this game could remove one opportunity for the club's younger players to play in a first team competitive game with the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg the day after.

"The EFL is committed to delivering valuable playing opportunities for young players and would have assisted, if it had been practically possible but the alternative dates all had issues with them."

"The EFL is grateful for the support of both clubs towards the Checkatrade Trophy and Pep Guardiola's backing of the Carabao Cup."

Despite preferring not to play against U21 sides, Ross admits he was relieved to be drawn at home after a demanding season so far.

"Naturally it's not as complicated as when we drew Newcastle, for obvious reasons," he said.

"Also, because of the open draw, I was just delighted to be at home.

"We've got a busy schedule coming up, the last thing we wanted was to go to Portsmouth or Peterborough.

"Being at home makes things a lot easier for us logistically."