Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder backs 'talented' Jack Ross to deliver promotion at Sunderland
Chris Wilder has backed the ‘talented’ Jack Ross to deliver promotion at Sunderland this season – and is expecting the Black Cats to be geared-up for an upset when they visit Bramall Lane.
Wilder – who himself was linked with the vacancy at the Stadium of Light before Ross was appointed – insists that the Scot’s side will be in promotion contention this season.
His claims come after a week in which the pressure on the Sunderland boss has increased following a disappointing draw at Bolton Wanderers.
But the Sheffield United chief believes Ross and his squad will only keep improving after a ‘solid’ start to the campaign – and feels the pressure on Ross can prove a positive force.
“As they did in the last round they will want to cause an upset,” said Wilder.
“They have a lot of good players and a talented manager who did well up the road, before they came within a whisker of promotion last season.
“Losing in a play-off final is a difficult one to take, something this club [United] have a nasty habit of doing, and the season after it becomes tougher.
“They’ve made a solid start but nothing is won in August and September.
“With the players they have and the size of the club I’m sure they’ll challenge.
“There’s a pressure but that can be a good one at times, when it gets rolling.
“It’s a powerful football club and I’m sure one that will come close to getting out of the division.”
Wilder will be hoping his Sheffield United aren’t on the other end of another Sunderland upset, with the Black Cats having dismissed Burnley in the last round of the Carabao Cup.
And the Blades are expected to ring the changes for the clash, with Ravel Morrison and Ben Osborn among the players in line for a start.
“I have to make changes that benefit us not just for Wednesday night, but also medium and long term,” explained Wilder.
“Players will want to do well tomorrow, there’s a chance for those who haven’t been playing regularly.”