Jack Ross on his Max Power dilemma and the factors that will determine Sunderland selection

Max Power is available again after selection
Max Power is available again after selection
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Max Power has 'trained well' ahead of his likely Sunderland return this weekend, but Jack Ross admits that a big sequence of games will be a factor in his team selection this weekend.

Power is finally available after what effectively proved to be a four-match suspension.

But with the Black Cats winning 4-1 against Rochdale last time out, and with big clashes against Peterborough Town and Bradford City to follow the trip to the Ricoh Arena, his return is far from guaranteed.

"It’s nice to have those choices," Ross said.

"We’ve not had that all that often and although people might think that makes the manager’s job a bit easier, I’ve always said that aspect doesn’t phase me, you have to make these decisions and it is nicer to have them.

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"We’ve also got three games this week, a tough away game and then a really big game on Tuesday. We’ll have to utilise the squad through that so having more options is a definite positive.

"There’s a lot of things consider," he added.

"We won the game well last weekend and played reasonably well through parts of it. Max has actually been out for the best part of a month now as well, if it had been injury [people would say he’d needed time], although of course it’s a bit different because he’s trained. It’s actually exciting for me to have this. It’s a different challenge."

Speaking last week before Sunderland ended their winless run, Ross said that Power would offer him something different in midfield when he returned.

Ross said: "I think he's different to the other midfielders that we have.

"At Burton we felt we had invited pressure, with not enough forward runs and passes. Max probably helps in both those senses. He helps mainly because he balances our options."

The 4-1 win also saw Sunderland return to a lopsided 3-5-2, something which Ross admits suits his team.

He insists, however, that he will need to be flexible throughout the season.

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"After the Burton game we had to look at a few things, why we weren’t effective," he said.

"That wasn’t just the system but we kept coming back to how the team and especially certain individuals had previously been more effective. Lynden for example has strangely been more effective in that kind of wing-back role. Right now it [3-5-2] probably suits us best, but we can change things in games which is good.

"Previously I’ve kind of had a maximum of two main ways of playing, this season I think we will need a bit more than that."