Jack Ross relaxed about Newcastle United draw but bristles at Checkatrade Trophy's Man City decision

Jack Ross admits being drawn against Newcastle U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy is not ideal, but says his side will continue to '˜treat the competition properly'.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 06:00 am
Updated Sunday, 9th December 2018, 14:20 pm
SAFC 2-0 NCFC CheckaTrade Trophy Round2. Stadium of Light. 04-12-2018. Picture by FRANK REID

His frustrations with elements of the tournament were clear again, however, as he questioned the decision to allow Manchester City special dispensation to play all their remaining games in the competition away from home.

“As I said previously, not just Newcastle, I don’t think any U21 side is an ideal draw for a senior team,” Ross said.

“I mentioned that in Scotland we had it with the colts teams.

“But it is what it is.

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“We’ve treated the competition properly and we will do the same, we want to progress in it. “

Speaking earlier this week ahead of the draw, Ross had said: “It would be an unusual set of circumstances.

“I wouldn’t want to labour on it too much but we’ve seen that with another derby in the week [Port Vale v Stoke City U21s].

“There’s a different dynamic when you have a derby match and it’s one first team and one U21s.

“It’s not ideal, I think everyone would appreciate that at any derby throughout the country.

While Ross is eager to see Sunderland progress and lift silverware this season, he has had his frustrations with elements of the Checkatrade’s organisation and that was reiterated in the aftermath of the draw.

“It’s an interesting competition, that you can decide whether you want to play home or away as well,” he said.

“Some teams get to do that, which is interesting.

“They tell us not to devalue the competition, but that’s an aside to what the main story from it will be [Newcastle draw].”

Earlier in the campaign, Ross was left frustrated after Max Power was unable to represent the Black Cats in the competition.

The 25-year-old was serving a suspension for a red card picked up in league action, though the game he missed in the Checkatrade did not count towards his suspension.

At the time, Ross said: “We felt the initial decision to send Max off was harsh. However, it has been heard fairly, and we have to accept the FA’s decision regarding the card.

“What I cannot accept however, is that Max is banned from playing in tonight’s game, yet this does not count as part of his three-game suspension. It’s absolutely non-sensical and I’m sure everyone would agree with me on that.

“We are told that we must treat the Checkatrade Trophy with respect, which we have done so, and that it is a first-team competitive fixture, so my question is why does it not count towards his three-game suspension? We have been unfairly penalised with what is actually a four-game ban for our player, not a three-game ban as the rules state and I cannot understand how that can be the case.”

Sunderland are due to face Newcastle U21s at the Stadium of Light in the week beginning January 8, 2019.