Jack Ross on coping with Sunderland pressure and what will help promotion push

Jack Ross hopes to see the benefits of a more settled summer as Sunderland gear up for a promotion challenge - with the Scot embracing the pressure.

By Richard Mennear
Monday, 29 July, 2019, 06:00
Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

The Black Cats have recruited patiently, adding five new faces ahead of the season opener against Oxford United on Saturday.

Ross faced a major summer rebuild 12 months ago but this pre-season has been calmer with Sunderland adding quality in key areas to an already strong squad.

A squad expected to battle for automatic promotion.

Ross said: "Things have felt a lot calmer for me. Ironically, people might say otherwise as the results were better 12 months ago.

“But it’s felt a lot more right if that makes sense – the time I’ve had to work with the players means I’ve seen it develop on the pitch as well.

“Last year it was about trying to cobble a squad together for the summer and even going into the first game of the season it wasn’t ideal, we weren’t hoping for the best but it was after doing all we could.

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“And we have brought in five, added to what was already here – so it has felt a lot better and settled and hopefully we will see the benefits as the season goes on.

“Pressure? I don’t think there’s any more this time. I feel the same. Irrespective of whatever league I am managing this club in there is pressure on because it’s a big club and people come wanting to see their team win.

“If anything, from my own point of view, a personal point, I feel a bit less pressure because I have proven I can manage in England – there was a lot of good things about last season too.

“The pressure is always present here – it’s always there and if I didn’t want it I wouldn’t take the challenge on of managing this club.

"The pressure is always on us to be the top of the league and getting promoted, but I know that and lived with it for the last 12 months of my life and I will live with it again.’’