Exclusive: Sunderland legend Niall Quinn has this message for Jack Ross and his squad
Niall Quinn has encouraged Jack Ross to draw inspiration from Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland side - as he looks to mastermind a return to the Championship.
The Scot will look to seal promotion from the third tier at the second attempt, and club legend Quinn believes a glance back to Allardyce’s team of 2016 could provide some helpful hints.
And while not encouraging Ross to abandon his style of play for that of Allardyce, the 52-year-old feels that if the passion displayed by the Sunderland squad of old could be replicated then the Black Cats could enjoy a successful term.
Allardyce led the side to Premier League survival after fighting against the odds, and such fighting spirit would no doubt see Ross’ side flourish.
“Over the years we’ve seen different styles of football brought in to the club and it’s been a little bit of a struggle,” said Quinn.
“But if I point back to the style of football that looked the best for the few months before the England job came calling, Sam Allardyce’s team looked to have a little bit of what Sunderland fans expect to have in their team.
“I’m not saying Jack Ross should change everything and play like Sam, but Sunderland fans expect a particular way of approach and dedicating yourself to the club.”
Quinn was speaking at the launch of the club’s hall of fame, where the striker was among one of the first eleven players to be inducted into the illustrious list.
And while joined on the evening by a host of famous names from Sunderland’s past - including Bobby Kerr and Jimmy Montgomery - Quinn had some words of advice for the Black Cats’ current crop.
He urged Ross’ men to ensure that the heart comes first when they take to the field this season - and believes that ‘dialling up’ the passion could lead to great things,
“The type of football that Sunderland play, the heart comes first,” he added.
“Honeyman has it, and I look at other players and they have it.
“If you can turn up that dial a little bit then you can really reach for the stars.”