Jack Ross explains his plans for the Sunderland youngsters who did not land a late loan move
Jack Ross expects talented young midfielder Ruben Sammut to get a chance to impress in the leasing.com trophy this season.
Sammut joined Sunderland’s U23 setup in the summer after leaving Chelsea, and made a positive impression when given a chance during the pre-season tour of Portugal.
The midfielder is been one of a number of players that Ross is keen to get more senior football by going out on loan at some stage.
However, he was mindful that there is a ‘balance’ in ensuring the U23 side can remain competitive.
So while Jack Diamond, Jordan Hunter and Lee Connelly all went out on loan, Sammut, Jack Bainbridge and Jake Hackett all stayed.
All three could get a chance when Sunderland begin their trophy campaign next month.
“It comes away from me to a degree because Elliot [Dickman] needs a certain number of players in his U23 group regularly to fulfill fixtures, to try to perform well and get positive results,” Ross said.
“That needs to balanced with the need for development time etc.
“As a club we also need to be able to fulfil the Checkatrade Trophy games as well.
“We will need some of these players for those games.
“So it's a balance to strike between [getting players senior football] and making sure you're not leaving yourself short.”
Ross had hailed Sammut’s fitness in pre-season and the positive impression the 21-year-old made.
“Ruben was recruited as part of the U23 squad as a number of the new players have been,” he said.
But we know that the age he’s at, the experience he’s had, he really needs to either push with us or go out on loan because he’s at the latter part of his U23 years.
“What he’s done is every time he’s trained with me in the pre-season period, which has been intermittently, he’s made an impression every time he’s been on the pitch,” he added.
“He’s a really, really fit boy, incredibly fit. When young players come over you want them to make an impression and he’s done that, tonight he had a really good impact on the game.
“I’m pleased with him.”