Why Jack Ross relishes the pressure as he reacts to THAT incredible Sunderland attendance stat

For Jack Ross, a short winless run underlined the pressures of managing a club of Sunderland's size.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:54 pm
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:57 pm
Sunderland boss Jack Ross

In League One, where the club simply have to push for promotion, that pressure to win is magnified.

For the Black Cats boss, however, it simply serves as a reminder of how enjoyable it will be if he and his team can move the club back in the right direction.

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"I said to the players after the Burton game, that I'd never really sensed a complacency from them," he said.

"Physically it can look that way, but I think it just served as a bit of reminder.

"We are where we are, we're in this league for a reason. It is that oil tanker thing, we've tried to drag it to a halt, then turn it around and then get it going in the right direction. It is tough, it is.

"It just proved that we're going to have to be good this season, we're going to have be resilient and united.

"It was interesting to see [the reaction], it didn't phase me at all, but that little snapshot helps me to understand what the demands here are. You can understand why some clubs who've had real stability, that has been harder here.

"That's not a criticism, that's why it is such a great club, that interest and that passion."

Sunderland will be backed by over 5,000 fans at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, a remarkable figure for a televised, lunchtime kick-off.

It follows statistics published this week that show Sunderland's average home attendance this season, 30,255, exceeds the average gate for a number of the big European leagues.

Only the Premier League and the Bundesliga have higher average gates.

"It's remarkable, and that's not meant in a patronizing way, I would say that even if I wasn't manager of Sunderland," Ross said.

"It's an incredible show of loyalty, it's enjoyable, any manager wants that responsibility.

"There's a pressure and an expectation but I'd much rather have that.

"If I can get it right then it is going to mean an awful lot to an awful lot of people, for someone that loves football that is a great thing to involved in."