Jack Ross explains Andrew Nelson’s Sunderland exit as youngster shines on Dundee debut

Jack Ross says a move to Dundee was the right opportunity for Andrew Nelson at this stage of his career.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 6:00 am
Sunderland striker Andrew Nelson.

Nelson moved north of the border earlier in the January window and has already made a major impression.

The 21-year-old scored one and created another as the struggling Scottish Premiership side sealed an impressive 2-1 win over Hearts of Midlothian on Wednesday night.

Some supporters had hoped that Nelson would play a part in the second half of the season for Sunderland after a very productive loan spell at Darlington at the end of last year.

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Ross says going to Dundee was the ‘sensible’ move.

“I think for Andrew, he had the injury last season so when he came in pre-season he was a good bit behind in terms of where I think he needed to be in terms of his fitness levels,” he said.

“Although he was involved with us in pre-season he was still way off what we needed him to be at.

“He then picked up that horrible injury at Hartlepool, and that took a long time to sort out properly.

“We were then very much into the nuts and bolts of our season so he had to go out to get some game time [at Darlington].

“Then you have to weigh it up.

“He’s 21 now, he needs to be playing football and progressing his career.

“The opportunity there for him was sensible to pursue.”

Sunderland have a sell-on clause as part of the deal.

Ross admits it is a risk to move him on but says it would have been ‘selfish’ to keep him.

“As a club, you could keep all of your young players because then you take out any risk of anything coming back to bite you,” he said.

“But that doesn’t help those young players and it is selfish of us to do that.

“If I felt he was at a stage where he could come in and really help us as a player, then I would have done that.

“That’s not to say I don’t think he’s a good player, I just think where we’re at, this was the best solution for all parties.

“I think he would agree with that, he’s young but not that young in terms of football.

“I know what his attitude is like and so I know that he’ll go up there to make the most of the opporunity at Dundee.”