Will Grigg reveals role of Jack Ross in Sunderland signing Wigan Athletic striker
Sunderland striker Will Grigg has hailed the methods of Jack Ross as he looks to repay his manager’s faith by hitting the goal trail next season.
The 27-year-old forward admits Ross played a ‘massive’ part in him signing for the Black Cats, so aware was he of the Scot’s growing reputation before agreeing to make the £3million switch from Wigan Athletic.
Ross set his stall out when he landed the Sunderland job - his aim was promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
But the Wearsiders fell short and, having licked their wounds, will have to hit the ground running when the players return to the Academy of Light for pre-season training early next month.
And getting Grigg firing on all cylinders is a key priority for Ross and his coaching staff.
The Northern Ireland international agrees, and though he may have struggled in front of goal, scoring just five times since his January switch from Wigan, he has praised the influence of Ross.
Grigg said: “He's been brilliant. I heard some really good things about him before I signed and he was a massive part in that.
“I've been really impressed with everything about him - his man-management skills, the way he gets the team going, his training on the training pitches has been top drawer.
Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
“We have had a few disappointing results but he's been the first person to back us and the first person to try and get us going.”
Grigg endured a difficult start to his Sunderland career, having arrived on Wearside with an ankle problem.
He only managed five goals as the Black Cats failed to win automatic promotion.
A play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic condemned Sunderland to a second season in the third tier and Grigg is looking to repay the faith shown in him.
Ross will certainly be hoping for more goals from Grigg next term. His guile and link-up play is impressive but ultimately, with Sunderland shelling out big money, more goals were expected.
Ross will also have to work out the best formation to get the most from Grigg, at times too isolated leading the attack in a 4-2-3-1 system but when partnered with Charlie Wyke, Sunderland were over-exposed in midfield.