David Preece: This is when Phil Parkinson's Sunderland progress will become clear after mixed start
If new manager bounce is real, Phil Parkinson must have brought a trampoline with him to his first home game as Sunderland manager.
As disappointing as Saturday’s loss to Wycombe Wanderers was, he couldn’t asked for a better start in endearing himself to the fans.
As with Saturday too, there has to be a caveat placed on the opponents. Whilst Wycombe under Gareth Ainsworth have become very difficult to play against, Tranmere are a side that should be dispatched in the manner with which they were.
This is what we have been craving, especially against sides in the position Tranmere are. Perhaps I’m being harsh on Micky Mellon and his side after resurrecting them from the National League up to League 1, but it’s healthy to have that view over teams below you without it leading to complacency.
Teams might raise their game when playing on a stage like the Stadium of Light so the very least Sunderland can do is give them exactly what they’re expecting, which they did on Tuesday night.
It’s always difficult to predict the effect a new manager will have on a club and after the many different managers we’ve had over the past decade, I wouldn’t write anyone off.
We’ve had the big names and characters come and go with very few leaving their mark positively in the minds of supporters, so there was no level of expectation on whoever came in next from me.
It didn’t matter whether they were a big name, another young manager like Jack Ross or just someone who was familiar with the level, there was just the hope he proved himself to be the right one.
Two games hardly gives us enough evidence of where it will all end up but putting a team to the sword by five goals is as good as it’s felt in a long time. Now games against Shrewsbury and Southend – by no means pushovers - should give Parkinson the chance of another six points and provide the platform going into a busy period including the FA Cup.
The first test will come against Coventry City in late November. That will be the game when I think will be a time for gauging where we are going.
As for the past, I thought George Caulkin’s interview for The Athletic with Jack Ross showed what lies in the aftermath of a manager being fired. The sack can often come as a relief when it becomes an inevitability after a run of defeats.
Or at the very least it comes hands held high and an acceptance that’s what happens in football. Then you can step away from the game and recharge you batteries in readiness for the next challenge that may or may not come.
Yet, as Jack described it himself, after doing what everyone should see as a good job in trying circumstances last season, he now finds himself in limbo and I can totally understand what he means. He will feel like he has unfinished business here and understandably so.
He moved his family to the region - of course this is the life you choose but there is always more collateral damage than merely the loss of a job.
Yeah, yeah, he was paid handsomely as many of you might be reasoning now but if you only went it to coaching for the money you wouldn’t get very far.
Coaching and management isn’t like playing. You can still reach a high level in football and not actually like football. Some players see it as just a job or something they just happen to have a talent for.
Coaching is different and takes a different type of commitment. A commitment that requires sacrifices away from family and a working week that lasts longer than most but when it’s taken from you, it’s difficult initially to appreciate that getting too spend more time with your loved ones means that you failed on some level.
Like I’ve said before though, Jack Ross won’t be putting up shelves or fixing dodgy door hinges for long before he’s back in the game.
Talking of which, I’ll be back at home when our season ends here at the start of November, so I better try and remember where my screwdriver is.