Jack Ross reveals the latest on defender pursuit and Sunderland injuries

Jack Ross has provided a Sunderland transfer update
Jack Ross has provided a Sunderland transfer update
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Jack Ross is still hoping to add a defender to his Sunderland ranks this week.

The Black Cats boss has lined up a deal to bolster his options ahead of a push for League One promotion.

While he had hoped to do it after the Charlton game, Ross says ‘everything is on track’.

“I still hope that will be the case,” Ross said.

I would like to do it as early as possible but my understanding is that it is all on track.

“Like anything, it’s not always straightforward, things can always change at the last minute which is why I’m always [cautious] until it is all signed.

“But I had a conversation about it this morning and everything I’ve been told is that it will still happen this week.

“Hopefully it will be over next couple of days.”

Ross is eager to add some fresh options in defensive areas with Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin both playing a massive amount of football this season.

He is also very short of options in the full back area, with Adam Matthews, Donald Love, Bryan Oviedo and Denver Hume all currently absent.

Glenn Loovens has also been injured but should return to training on Thursday.

Ross is hopeful that Matthews and Oviedo could be fit for the visit of Luton Town but he is now also without Jack Bainbridge, who suffered an injury playing for the U23s last Friday.

Bainbridge would likely have started against Newcastle United in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

So fresh legs would be more than welcome, with Ross also admitting last week that he would like to add some physicality to the defensive line.

Nevertheless, he has been pleased with the way Flanagan and Baldwin have coped with what is a new challenge for both of them.

“By and large I thought they did well against him [Lyle Taylor],” Ross said.

“As a front two, Charlton’s are as good as anyone in the league.

“They’ve played a lot of games but also mentally it is a new challenge for them.

“Tactically it is a bit different as well and then there is the expectation we face.

“Charlton got a big reception leaving the pitch on Saturday and that shows how we’re viewed in this league.

“They’re young men and it’s a big ask for them mentally to keep churning out performances.

“Then there is the scrutiny, which is a word I’ve used a lot.

“When people in Scotland ask me [what’s different about this club] I say that.

“Every decision you make, there’s always that and it takes a bit of adjusting to.

“For me, I’m a lot older so it is much easier to cope with it with my life experience.

“A lot of these players are playing for a really big club for the first time and it is very different.

“So far they’ve coped very well with it.”