Jack Ross on his goalkeeping ranks and why youngster has a bright Sunderland future
Nine appearances, five clean sheets.
A record that almost exactly mirrors that of Jon McLaughlin during Sunderland’s excellent league form since the disappointing defeat at Burton Albion.
It’s one shutout better, however.
Max Stryjek made his Eastleigh debut the same day that the Black Cats launched their winning run and he quickly made a major impression, his loan extended to December 22nd.
The 22-year-old is out of contract in the summer but Jack Ross is keen to get him a new deal.
Ross believes the Polish stopper has a first team future on Wearside, though the form of Jon McLaughlin made the decision to send him out on loan an easier one.
“Jon’s has made himself such an important part of the team, not just because of his form but just because of how he is,” Ross said.
“You do want strength in depth in every position.
“I think it’s an overall area where we want to continue to strengthen. “It’s the reason we sent Max to Eastleigh, I think a lot of him and I think he’s got every chance of going on to play for Sunderland.
“But he needed to play games.
“The give and take of that is that it makes him unavailable for me in the meantime.
“Ultimately it’s good for him.”
Stryjek’s absence has given Robbin Ruiter the chance to impress in the Checkatrade Trophy.
His performances have been mixed, the Dutchman the penalty hero against Stoke City U21s and showing good distrubiton against Carlisle United.
A couple of nervy moments against Morecambe were balanced against a fine double save shortly before Josh Maja’s winner.
Ruiter is also out of contract in the summer of 2019 but after securing his release from international duty, Ross is not worries about being overly dependant on McLaughlin.
“The one thing with Jon as well is that, you look fairly pragmatically when you recruit,” he said.
“His playing history is pretty good, so long may that continue.”
Ross last week recruited Craig Samson to replace Ipswich bound Jimmy Walker as goalkeeping coach, a move which he says will be a good fit for the club in the long term.
“In the summer, I knew I was going to bring James and I was keen to bring John,” he said.
“The goalkeeping coach was an area I was open-minded about.
“I spoke to a few, Jimmy Walker got the position and did great.
“So when it came around again, I had a similar approach in terms of being open-minded but having more of a foothold in the club, I probably had a better understand of what I wanted.
“Craig ticked so many of the boxes, other than the fact that he was still playing/
“But he was interested and it went from there.
“He’s a strong character, bubbly, lively, young and ambitious.
“I’ve got a close relationship with him, I think it’s a really good fit.”