'My determination to bring success will never diminish' - Jack Ross on his future, Charlton defeat and Wembley woe after coming up short in promotion bid
Jack Ross insists his determination to deliver success at Sunderland won’t be diminished despite a heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic.
And he says his players have to use the cruel defeat as motivation for next season, once the disappointment of this weekend has subsided.
Sunderland raced into a fifth minute lead at Wembley thanks to a shocking own goal by Charlton defender Naby Sarr.
But the Addicks fought their way back into the final and equalised ten minutes before the break when Ben Purrington tapped home.
The second half lacked quality and there was nothing to separate the two sides until Patrick Bauer prodded home the winner in the fourth minute of added-on time, leaving the Sunderland players floored.
When Ross was appointed he spoke openly and confidently about his ambitions this season, promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
But Sunderland have fallen short, falling at the final hurdle, the play-off final in front of 76,000 supporters.
Naturally there may be speculation over Ross’ future after Sunderland failed to win promotion, especially given there is ongoing talk around possible investment in Sunderland this summer.
But the Scot insists he is as determined as ever to lead the Black Cats to success, for as long as he is at the club.
Ross said: “I came here to take the club back to the Championship at the first time of asking. I haven’t been able to do that, so I’ll carry that element of disappointment myself because I set
high standards in everything I do.
“I came in with that ambition, and I was clear about it.
“But for every minute or every day that I’m given the opportunity to manage this football club, my determination to bring success to it will never diminish because it’s a brilliant club that
“I’ve put an awful lot into these last 12 months, it’s been pretty much relentless for me, but I’ll continue to do that for as long as we get the opportunity to do so.”
It was a heartbreaking and cruel way for Sunderland to lose but ultimately they hadn’t done enough over the course of the 90 minutes to win promotion.
The Sunderland boss could be seen stood in the centre of the pitch for a lengthy period post match as the Charlton players celebrated at the other end of the pitch in front of their delirious
Ross added “My initial emotions are one of disappointment for my players and staff, and by my staff I don’t just mean the obvious ones you can see on the pitch with blue tops.
“An awful lot of people around this football club have been tremendously supportive of what I’ve tried to do from day one, and today meant an awful lot to them as well.
“The disappointment is about that emotion from them, because I know how devastated they are, I can see it in their faces.
“I carry that responsibility trying to deliver success for them, and it’s what I’ve tried to do every day since I’ve been here. I’m devastated for them.
“Right now, that feeling of disappointment is the over-riding one, because of the manner we’ve lost the game.
“That will dissipate over the coming days and weeks, and when you regroup and come back again and refocus on next season, that becomes your goal. You don’t want to go through that
“We’ve had that horrible experience twice in two months, in very difficult circumstances.
“They have to use that as a driver for them in the future, irrespective of what lies ahead for them in their careers.
“They have to use it as a motivation to make sure that should they find themselves here again, or find themselves in an important game, that when success or failure is determined, they
come out on the right side of it.”