Jack Ross has a 'point to prove' and this factor will be key to Sunderland success
A strong start to the League One campaign is vital for new Sunderland boss Jack Ross, believes his St Mirren predecessor Alex Rae.
The former Sunderland midfielder says Ross will have a "point to prove" coming from the Scotland Championship to the third tier of English football.
But Rae believes Ross has the confidence and belief in himself to be a major hit on Wearside and has backed him to hit the ground running.
Ross has signed an initial two-year deal at Sunderland, the former Hartlepool United defender identified by Stewart Donald as the man to lead the club back up the divisions.
"The new board see Jack as the man to take the club forward," Rae told BBC Scotland.
"The club has had several big names in terms of David Moyes, Steve Bruce, Mick McCarthy - recognised names.
"Jack is coming in from Scotland and will have to prove a point but knowing Jack, he's got the confidence to do that.
"The key thing is how he hits the ground. If he can hit it running, he has a great opportunity - it is a fantastic club with an unbelievable fan base."
Ross will be handed a 'pretty hefty' budget by League One standards by new owner Donald, who is in Monaco this weekend meeting potential investor, Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori.
Rae added: "He'll get the finances to try and bounce straight out of the division.
"With the greatest respect to the other clubs in that division, there are clubs there with 3-4,000 fans every week.
"If Jack can get them going the right way, they could have 30-35,000 within a short period of time.
"Sunderland probably wanted an up-and-coming manager with a lot of endeavour to get them out of that division."