Jack Ross' honest verdict on his system and the 'harsh' lesson for Sunderland players

Jack Ross says some of his Sunderland players are learning a ‘harsh’ lesson after a poor start to the League One campaign.

By Richard Mennear
Sunday, 11 August, 2019, 11:15
Sunderland fall behind at Ipswich Town.

Sunderland remain unbeaten yet two dispiriting 1-1 draws – at home to Oxford United and away to Ipswich Town - have led to questions being asked of the manager and his players.

The Black Cats were dismal in the opening 45 minute spell at Portman Road, Sunderland changing their 3-4-2-1 system after just half an hour, switching to four at the back before going 4-4-2 at half-time. Three system changes in the space of 50 minutes.

Ross admits there will be questions asked of the system and hinted there may be personnel changes in the coming games, with Sunderland away to Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night ahead of a huge lunchtime kick-off against Portsmouth next Saturday.

Reflecting on the Ipswich draw, Ross said: “I think after every game you have a lot to digest.

“The game Saturday, because we didn’t do the fundamentals so you have to question the system.

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“We did change it in the first half, it helped us a bit but not a lot because we weren’t doing the basics.

“Second half we were a lot more comfortable.

“I spoke in pre-season about early games giving players the chance to take possession of the jersey but they then have to reach certain levels to keep that.

“If they don’t there’s enough competition that they won’t keep their place. It’s a harsh lesson.”