Jack Ross delivers verdict on Dundee United's pre-season defeat against former club Sunderland

Dundee United boss Jack Ross felt his young side competed well against Sunderland despite their 2-0 defeat at Tannadice Park.

The Black Cats scored twice in the second half of the pre-season friendly, courtesy of Trai Hume’s headed opener and a freak own goal from defender Charlie Mulgrew.

Former Sunderland boss Ross, who was appointed by Dundee United in May, said after the match: “I think as always you don’t want to lose football matches, but the pre-season is about hopefully seeing a gradual improvement of performances.

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“For us I felt we were much better than we were in midweek over in Spain against Port Vale, I was a bit critical after that.

Ross Stewart heads a chance wide for Sunderland against Dundee United.

“I thought in the first half we defended really well and our defensive shape restricted them, but we didn’t look after the ball particularly well.

“We addressed a couple of things at half-time and I thought second half a lot of our play was good.

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“We got ourselves into the final third, we could still be more ruthless in that area, but we still managed to create opportunities.

“It’s a progression for us but it’s clear as a squad we are very, very young at the moment and that depth in quality needs to come.”

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When discussing the test that Sunderland posed, Dundee United defender Scott McMann added: “They’re a good side, they’re in the Championship this year after getting promoted last year.

“They have some good players, some good experienced players, and it’s good to play against opposition like that.

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“I thought for the most part we played well.”