Jack Ross reacts to Sunderland appointment and vows to help reconnect club with fans
Jack Ross has spoken of his excitement after being confirmed as Sunderland manager.
Ross has been handed a initial two-year deal and joins from St Mirren, alongside assistant James Fowler.
Ross said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to take charge of an incredible football club. If you look the history, the facilities and most important of all, the fanbase, you can see what this club can be. To be part of the team to help realise that potential is something that fills me with excitement.
“From the moment I spoke to Stewart and Charlie, their energy and enthusiasm was evident and I share in that. There’s a lot of work to be done in re-shaping the squad to ensure that we hit the ground running in League One, and I can’t wait to get started.
He added that had been charged with rebuilding the club and reconnecting it with the fanbase, something he is confident he can achieve.
"It’s a fantastic honour because I understand the magnitude of the job and the size of the club,” he said.
“Probably the biggest attraction is the potential of the club, as well the fans and history, but that potential to hopefully take it back through the leagues again is one that really excites me.”
“There are a lot of parallels between the job I’ve done recently and the position Sunderland find themselves in, so hopefully that will stand me in good stead," he added.
“I’m from the outside looking in until I get started properly, but the one thing I know I don’t have to worry about is the loyalty of that fanbase and its passion for the club.
“It’s been the one constant over the last few years during difficult times, so my job – how it’s been described to me and how I want it – is to rebuild the club from inside out, and if I can do that then hopefully we can re-establish that connection between the club and its supporters.
“That’s vitally important and, as I mentioned, that’s something I had at the job I’ve just finished, as when I took it there was a real disconnect.
“I pride myself on how I communicate with everybody and I’m looking forward to rebuilding that connection, because if you get that connection right it’s bloody powerful.
“It is a real privilege, and I can’t wait to get started."
Ross won the PFA Scotland manager of the year award after leading St Mirren to the Championship title.
In the previous campaign, he took over with the team bottom of the lead and saved them from the drop.
Ross issued an emotional farewell to St Mirren supporters on the club website.
He said: "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to so many people involved at St Mirren FC for the experiences of the past 20 months.
"To my players and staff who have worked tirelessly to support the work we do and who have been relentless in their pursuit of success and their desire to drive the club forwards. To the chairman Gordon Scott and directors Alan Wardrop, Chris Stewart and David Nicol for their willingness and indeed patience to help meet my demands for excellence at the club, and to Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick and my guru Gavin Whyte for their incredible backing and unwavering faith in me.
"To the fantastic support I cannot thank you enough for sticking with me, backing us in our hour of need and then joining us on the terrific journey of the past season and a half. I am immensely proud that I have helped to give you your club back and I have always said that your unwavering passion for your club was there long before me and will continue long after my time.
"It has not been an easy decision to leave a club and a job which I loved but I have been offered an exciting career opportunity of which the challenge of I look forward to meeting.
"The days at Easter Road last May, and the Saturday's 21st and 28th April at our stadium and in the town will be memories I will always treasure and I wish all Buddies every future success."