Jack Ross on handing Jordan Willis the Sunderland captaincy for MK Dons win

A clean sheet in the league remains elusive, but Jack Ross believes his side are far better defensively now and the way they managed two leads last week suggested that was true.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 06:00 am
Jordan Willis was Sunderland's captain on Saturday

The experience and composure of Joel Lynch was a major factor, but Jordan Willis continues to improve and his arrival on a free transfer this summer looks to be as good as any business Sunderland have done.

Quick, strong and composed, the 25-year-old had interest from the Championship, but Ross convinced him Wearside was the best place for him to grow as a player.

In a sign of the esteem with which he is already held behind the scenes, Willis was handed the captain’s armband for the 2-1 win over MK Dons.

“The previous time that neither Aiden [McGeady] nor Grant [Leadbitter] were in the side, I think it was Oxford in terms of the league,” Ross said.

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“Jon captained the team, I’ve got nothing against goalkeepers being captain but it’s probably not my preferred choice.

“We thought long and hard about giving it to Jordan that day but it was his home debut, that’s a challenge as it is.

“Now, he’s been at the club a few months, he’s got to know us as staff, he knows he can handle it.

“He’s a really, really good lad and has embraced coming here.

“He’s another one we speak about who we feel as if we could improve and ideally go up the levels with us.”