Sunderland boss refusing to let Papy Djilobodji situation distract him ahead of Fleetwood
Jack Ross is refusing to be distracted by the ongoing Papy Djilobodji situation, with his focus firmly on Fleetwood Town.
Sunderland are assessing the fitness of Djilobodji and taking legal advice after he finally ended his 72-day self-imposed exile.
The 29-year-old turned up on Wednesday having missed the entire pre-season programme and opening month of the campaign.
Djilobodji will not be training with the first team squad, with Ross keen to maintain the strong team spirit developed.
Ross said: “Charlie [Methven] released a statement and from my perspective it remains the same in that it’s gone beyond a station that I can comment because it’s moved into legal areas.
“It’s probably easier for me as a manager to deal with, in that sense and what I’ve consistently said is that a solution or resolution would help. I think we’ve said that for a while now and hopefully that will still be the case.
“My focus and attention has always been on what I’ve had here.
“I’ve been consistent in that message, about taking players how I find them and working with them.
“Naturally, in the lead up to a game my attention is on that group who I have available for this game.”
Ross added: “I don’t want to go back over old ground, but there were obviously various different situations that we inherited, and nothing has ever been forced upon me, which was really encouraging for me from day one.”
Sunderland are taking full legal advice regarding their next steps over Djilobodji.
A club statement read: “The club is taking legal advice on the situation, and the player has been undergoing fitness tests, to assess whether he has returned to the club in a state to play professional football.”
“There will be no further comment until the player’s fitness has been assessed fully and the club has received full legal advice.”
Didier Ndong remains AWOL and posted a pool-side picture via his Instagram on Wednesday, a move which angered Sunderland fans.