Jack Ross says Sunderland are 'better prepared' for League One but must start better against Fleetwood

Sunderland manager Jack Ross.
Sunderland manager Jack Ross.
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Jack Ross isn't sure what to expect from Fleetwood tomorrow afternoon but believes Sunderland are better prepared to cope with the difficulties of League One.

The Black Cats dropped their first points of the season when playing at home last weekend, following a dramatic 1-1 draw with Oxford.

Karl Robinson’s side were quick out of the blocks at the Stadium of Light, pressing their opponents high up the pitch from the off.

Sunderland remained unbeaten in League One after Charlie Wyke's second-half equaliser, but Ross admitted the visitors' approach caught his side by surprise.

“The one thing that’s been different is that every team we have faced this season at home have approached the game in a different manner," said Ross

“So, what we have learned in a very short space of time is that we have to be ready for whatever the game provides and last Saturday we probably didn’t do that particularly well.

“There have been other games when we have started the game well but fallen behind for whatever reason.

“The pleasing thing is we have reacted well in every game, naturally though we would like to go ahead in games and stay ahead."

Ross is right to praise his side for the way they've responded after falling behind this campaign.

So far this season they have come back to win against Charlton, Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon after conceding first.

Still, Ross knows his side won't always be so lucky and will have to be on their toes from the start against a Fleetwood side who are unbeaten in their last five league games.

“I don’t know," said Ross when asked what he was expecting from the visitors. "We have already seen teams approach games in different ways at the Stadium of Light.

“Oxford were very aggressive in how they pressed and approached the game high up the pitch.

“In terms of our preparation we can’t always say for certain how a team will shape up.

“What I can say though, is if they approach it the same way Oxford did then we will be better prepared than we were last weekend.”

Ross also batted away comments from Fleetwood manager Joey Barton, who claimed his side were better than Sunderland "man for man."

"I suppose Saturday will be a determining factor and the league table at the end of the season will determine that," replied Ross.

"The one thing I’ve done consistently throughout my management career is never really concern myself with oppositions, other that a professional’s perspective.

"I prepare myself with how thoroughly we prepare but in terms of what other teams do or where they're at, it doesn’t really bother me."