The key role Jack Ross has played with Sunderland’s summer signing
Conor McLaughlin has hailed Jack Ross and his Sunderland staff for making his transition to life on Wearside an easy one.
The Northern Irish international became the Black Cats’ first signing of the summer when he penned a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light on Monday.
And having taken in the opening week of pre-season training, McLaughlin has offered a glowing appraisal of his new manager and teammates - despite a week packed with hard-work ahead of the League One campaign.
“It has been good but it has been tough," said the former Millwall man, speaking to safc.com.
“We have mostly been focusing on fitness but also ball work. Generally, it is about trying to mimic the kind of running we will be doing in games.
“It has been tough but that is always the case in the first week of pre-season – but the boys are doing well.
"All the lads have made me feel really welcome which is nice as I have slotted really nicely into the group.
“The manager and his staff have been really good so far and I am thoroughly enjoying working with them.
“Most of the stuff we have done is with the ball which is nice. They have made it easy for me to settle in.”
Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
And it’s not just Ross who has made the start of McLaughlin’s career in the North East an easy one.
While the likes of Tom Flanagan and Will Grigg are already familiar to the full-back given his international exploits, some new faces have begun to stand out.
Indeed, the 27-year-old had high praise for captain George Honeyman - who looks set to lead the side in League One once again.
“There are a few leaders in the dressing room,” he added.
“George has obviously been here for a long time and he has got an old head on a young body and he is everything that the club is about.
“He has been helping me a lot this week.
“Our first game is on Thursday against South Shields and I am already feeling the buzz ahead of getting on the grass and putting on the kit.”