Charlie Methven gives his verdict on Jack Ross and his Sunderland tenure so far

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Charlie Methven says Jack Ross has brought 'professionalism' and 'leadership' to Sunderland.

The Executive Director has spoken candidly on his and Stewart Donald's first six months in charge of the Black Cats.

Jack Ross at his first Sunderland press conference in May

Jack Ross at his first Sunderland press conference in May

One of their first moves was to bring in Ross from St Mirren, despite fierce competition from elsewhere.

Ross has steered the club to within touching distance of the automatic promotion places, the Black Cats currently unbeaten in seven league games.

"He’s extremely professional.

"That’s in his dealings up and down, with the board and with staff, and also with supporters and the media.

"He is professional.

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"This club needed that clarity, leadership. He’s the boss, everyone knows he is the boss. We don’t tread on his toes, we don’t try and get involved. He knows what his task is, he knows what tools he has to do it, in terms of the academy and bringing players in.

"Normally he comes to us and asks if something is doable. If not, OK, that’s fine, not a problem.

"So we’re not having to manage an ego, someone who is erratic, someone with issues with fans or media.

"He’s strong and professional and he’s delivered on everything he said he would do in his interview with us.

"We’ve not regretted appointing him for a second in six months," he added.

"What happens in the future, everyone knows it’s football, no one knows what will happen. We don't know, Jack doesn't know, fans don't know.

"But he has delivered on the style and the structure.

"Everything he said he would do in his interview, he’s done.

"You can’t ask for more than that."

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Methven said in his programme notes before the 3-0 win over Southend United that Ross has been selected out of '52 credible candidates'.

Methven said last week that results on the pitch had been ahead of what he and Donald expected.

"Performances on the pitch, we hoped that, we knew that the first few months would be difficult with such a big turnover of players and a new league," he said.

"I think we said that around Christmas we hoped we’d be in and around the top six, to give us a platform to push on in the second half of the season.

"So where we are now, third with a game in hand, is probably a bit ahead where we thought we would be.

"So overall, thus far, cautiously with fingers crossed, I’d give it a good 7.5/10. There are things that could be perfect but that would be a bit greedy and a bit presumptuous. If you’d given us this, on and off the pitch, six months ago we’d have taken it and taken it gladly."