Jack Ross on Will Grigg's Sunderland debut and Kazaiah Sterling's absence

Jack Ross says it was a bonus to see Will Grigg last 78 minutes on his Sunderland debut.

Saturday, 9th February 2019, 5:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th February 2019, 5:37 pm
Will Grigg lasted 78 minutes on his Sunderland debut

Grigg has recently been out of action with an ankle injury but started the 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium.

He was quiet as Sunderland spent large parts of the game on the back foot.

“He’s obviously missed a few weeks recently, and even prior to that, he’s not played a lot this season," Ross said.

"That’s the balancing act you have when it comes to a player coming in in January when he’s not been playing regularly for his previous club.

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"You hope he’ll have a freshness to him, but equally you’ve got to get him up to match speed because he’s started so few games this season. It was nice to get him out on the pitch.

"I think he did well to last as long as he did, he was always going to struggle to last the full 90 minutes.

"Again, that’s a balancing act for a manager because you know you’re probably going to have to make that change at some point.”

Ross also confirmed that Kazaiah Sterling was not injured.

The deadline day signing was left out of the squad after making his debut agaisnt AFC Wimbledon last week.

Chris Maguire was also not part of the matchday squad.

“I can only select 18 players, and can only name 16 outfield players," he said.

"That was a consequence of the squad becoming a bit bloated late on [in January], but that’s just what happens at the moment, especially with us being in full health as well."