Jack Ross on what Ethan Robson must do to revive his Sunderland career

Jack Ross has urged Ethan Robson to put together a run of games at Grimsby Town and prove that he can still have a Sunderland future.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 6:51 pm

Robson is in the final year of his current contract and has struggled to break into the first team picture.

He had been expected to start the campaign last year but was held back by a run of niggling injuries. After a successful loan at Dundee, Ross had him in the first-team squad for the pre-season campaign, but an injury again curtailed his progress.

He has moved to the League Two side until January to try and increase his minutes on the pitch.

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Injuries again curtailed Ethan Robson's progress in pre-season

“He needs to prove he can be strong enough physically to put that run of games together,” Ross said.

“He did it at Dundee last year but he’s picked up injuries in pre-season and so it was difficult for him to break in ahead of the other midfielders.

“The conversation that I had with him was that because of his contractual situation, it’s of far greater benefit to him to go out on loan and play well every single week than waiting for the opportunity to open up for him here.

“We’ll reassess it again at the end of the year but I spoke to him about it, he went away and thought about and was of the same thought process that it would be better for him.”

Robson has made three appearances since the move, and Ross insists the door is not closed on his Sunderland future.

“He’s got good attributes, I think he could be a successful player here, but at nearly 23 he needs to play,” he said.

“He probably should have played more games earlier in his career, if you compare him to George Dobson with over 100 games at 21, Luke O’Nien was similar when he signed.

“That’s gone now and we can’t do anything about it, so it’s about how we make sure he’s playing games.

“He could have stayed here, and an opportunity might have opened in a week or six weeks, you can’t say, but it would have been a risk and he might not have played for a sustained period.”