Jack Ross on the mood in his Sunderland squad and why they can sense something special on the horizon
Jack Ross says his Sunderland squad are starting to recognise that they can achieve something special this season.
Five wins on the spin in all competitions has lifted the Black Cats to the brink of the automatic promotion places and they are also well placed to advance in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The feel-good factor on Wearside is growing and Ross senses his players are buying into it.
“People always throw momentum out there as a word but it does snowball very quickly either way.
“It is amazing how it can just take off.
“I think if you use a lot of the same words, the same messages, the same language, then subliminally they start to take them in.
“I’ve noticed it before in dressing rooms where they start to say it, not because they’re trying to impress you but because they believe it themselves.
“They’re saying the things we’ve been sayng for a while.
“I think they’re recognising that it could be a good season for them, an enjoyable season.
“You can play 20 seasons where you don’t achieve something.
“Achieving something tangible is not easy but I think they’re beginning to recognise that they could do that this year.”
Ross inherited a squad that suffered back-to-back relegations.
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A major overhaul followed and so Ross has not seen a noticeable change in the mood.
However, he does sense a growing winning mentality in his squad and a hunger to keep it going.
“I’ve not noticed a massive difference [from taking over], but memory can skew these things.
“You tend to forget what was it like.
“There was work to be done in that respect but there was enough good characters in that dressing room who respond to what we do.
“Actually, I think they’re learning to enjoy it, I think that’s the easiest way to put it.
“That feeling of winning games.
“I think they’re also understanding that they can keep getting that which is a good thing to have.
“It’s not nicking a win then wondering where the next one will come from, they recognise when we’re in a place where we can keep them coming.
“Training on Thursday, it was one of those, they train really well all the time but it was, this is good, quite easy as a manager, just bang at it.”