Charlie Methven explains why Sunderland targeted Jack Ross and how he differs from Rafa Benitez and David Moyes

Charlie Methven and Stewart Donald.
Charlie Methven and Stewart Donald.
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Charlie Methven has explained the reasons behind targeting Jack Ross to lead Sunderland's promotion charge - and aimed a cheeky dig at Rafa Benitez and David Moyes.

Sunderland's executive director has hailed Ross' positivity and ambition as the club targets an instant return to the Championship.

It is in stark contrast to ex-Sunderland boss David Moyes - who in August 2016 - admitted then-Premier League Sunderland were relegation candidates after just two games.

Meanwhile, Benitez's Newcastle United tactics have come in for criticism in some quarters in recent weeks following a difficult start to the new campaign.

Sunderland though have enjoyed a good start, Ross' unbeaten side sitting fourth in League One.

And Methven has opened up on the reasons why the club's new owners wanted the Scot this summer.

"The setting of stretching, but realistic targets is part of our business ethos, and one of the reasons we chose Jack Ross as manager," Methven wrote in his matchday programme notes for the Oxford United game.

“Whilst the other candidates we interviewed mostly tried to hedge their bets when asked what their first season target would be, given the overhaul required, Jack said that he would target automatic promotion and be disappointed not to achieve it.

"He has 'previous': after narrowly saving St Mirren from relegation from the Scottish Championship, he straight away declared that he was targeting winning the same division the following season.

“All three of us [Methven, Stewart Donald and Juan Sartori] believe that fearlessly ‘going for it’ - in life, in business, and sport - begets precisely the positivity and desire required to be a winner.

“Conversely, whether it be a previous SAFC manager declaring in August that his team were relegation candidates, or the manager of a neighbouring club putting 11 men behind the ball at home and conceding 80 per cent possession, if a leader’s body language is negative then the battle is already lost.

“Falling short of a stretching target is disappointing, but forgivable. Not even stretching yourself in the first place is the prelude to failure.”