Jack Ross this this message for Chris Maguire and Denver Hume after encouraging Sunderland showing

Jack Ross has urged Chris Maguire to keep playing in forward areas after a new striking role sparked a fine run of form.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 06:00 am
Chris Maguire takes the ball after his hat-trick against AFC Wimbledon

Maguire’s hat-trick helped Sunderland comfortably beat AFC Wimbledon and the Black Cats boss has explained why playing him in that position is so important.

“He's more than capable of playing there,” he said.

“He likes working with us, he likes my staff and he has a good relationship with me but I'm on top of him all the time because he possesses quality, there’s no doubt he's a good player. His first goal showed that in particular.

“He's prepared to do that [play as an out-and-out centre-forward], it's just keeping him on it all the time. When he does it he's a really effective player for me and he'll play all the time.

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“There are still times when I get frustrated because he drops too deep to get the ball,” he added.

“We started him as a striker but he'll drop off. You start him sometimes as a ten and he drops off further. People say it shouldn't matter [where he starts] but I think it does with him.

“If we start him as a striker he doesn't drop off as deep because we encourage him not to come too deep because you can't really affect the game from there.

“We have had him in possession high up the park and it's just making sure we keep doing that. He wants the ball and when he wants the ball too much he can drop too deep.”

Ross also praised Denver Hume for his role in the in, after being recalled to the starting XI.

“We knew how we wanted to play on Saturday, and we knew our full-backs would get out and I thought it was important we had that balance on that side of the pitch,” he said.

“We knew we'd have him high up the park and that's where his strengths are.

“I'm pleased he had a good performance because it was a difficult couple of games for him, he's a young man still and it's great to see him take opportunities and play well.”