Bali Mumba and Josh Maja reveal how Jack Ross is 'bringing the best' out of Sunderland

Have your say

Bali Mumba and Josh Maja have opened up on the positive impact that Jack Ross is having at the Stadium of Light.

The young duo have featured regularly throughout pre-season as the new Sunderland boss puts his faith in the club's academy products.

Josh Maja has praised new manager Jack Ross

Josh Maja has praised new manager Jack Ross

And the pair have heaped praise on their new manager, who they believe has brought the best out of Sunderland with his desired style of play.

Now, the youngsters are keen to start the season and build-on the 'positive vibe' within the camp.

READ: Jack Ross needs more bodies - but Sunderland have shown they can compete

While Maja has been a regular starter, Mumba - who caught the eye of Ross during pre-season training - was only given his first start in the abandoned friendly at Middlesbrough.

Bali Mumba has impressed during pre-season

Bali Mumba has impressed during pre-season

And the 16-year-old was 'buzzing' to be handed an opportunity by Ross as he looks to stake a claim for a place in the starting line-up for the Black Cats' League One curtain raiser against Charlton Athletic.

"I'm buzzing to get the start against such a good team," he said, in an interview with SAFSee.

RATINGS: How did Phil Smith view Sunderland's performance at Middlesbrough?

"Hopefully I'll push on and try get myself up to this Friday (before Charlton at home) which is a big game for us, the whole team and the whole area really."

Maja, like many others, was full of praise for Mumba after a mature performance which defied his age - and the striker is backing him to rack-up even more starts as the season progresses.

"I think he's done very well," added the 18-year-old.

MORE: Jack Ross delivers his verdict as Glenn Loovens and Jerome Sinclair debut

"He's a young kid but he's made his mark. He showed what he can do in training and the gaffer has put him in and then he's handled himself well.

"I think he'll definitely get starts this season."

The pair were speaking after the goalless draw at Middlesbrough, which was abandoned at half-time in the interests of player safety after torrential rain engulfed the Riverside Stadium.

WATCH: The storm that caused Sunderland's friendly at Middlesbrough to be abandoned

And despite the rain wreaking havoc, Maja was pleased with the performance - especially towards the end of the first half where Sunderland started to turn the screw.

"The weather had a part to play in this game but obviously we can't control that," the striker said.

"We just did our business today and got the 45 minutes out the way.

READ: Ross with an injury update on midfielder Dylan McGeouch

"We started creating chances and getting the ball moving at the top of the pitch.

"I think, going into the second half, we would have caused them a few more problems, but obviously we couldn't do that today.

"We're just pleased we got a good performance out of today and hopefully we can push on from here."

MORE: Transfer latest as Sunderland close to two deals, but still eyeing a striker

Sunderland now must carry such a positive performance into the season opener against Charlton on Saturday afternoon.

Jack Ross now has Sunderland playing his desired style of football and Maja believes that such an attractive style of play has brought the best out of the side.

And with positivity sweeping throughout the club, the 18-year-old believes that a strong season is ahead.

"There's a positive vibe in the group and I think that the gaffer is getting his point across," he added.

"We're playing the way he wants to play and that's bringing out the best in the team. This season is going to be a very good one."