Sunderland legend Gary Rowell reflects on the Jack Ross era and what could come next
Now the dust is settling following Jack Ross’ dismissal, we can only hope the new appointment turns out to be an inspired choice who leads Sunderland to glory come May.
Everybody must come together now and whether you agree with the sacking or not, the club will always come first above any individual.
I liked Jack Ross, he was clearly a man of dignity and integrity who came in at an incredibly difficult time, He stabilised the club and was so near to going up at first attempt.
This season, however, we just haven’t got going. There’ve been too many draws again and worryingly, some heavy defeats that didn’t happen last year.
Stewart Donald has been decisive and by making the change early, the new manager can’t complain that he hasn’t got the time to turn it round. We’re not too far away from the top two but the current momentum is going the wrong way. That’s why Jack Ross is history and what his successor has to quickly change.
Was Ross harshly sacked? We’ll only know in May. If Sunderland go up it was the right decision, if we’re still stuck in League One he can claim he wasn’t given the time to finish the job. Ross has defended his record at Sunderland and it’s certainly not a bad one, but it’s in League One. If he had that record in the Premier League, yes, he’d be one of the best Sunderand managers ever. However, finishing fifth in this league isn’t cause for celebration, it’s the worst finish in the clubs history and that’s the point of everything, it’s all about the division we’re in. Having a not bad record in League One isn’t going to satisfy any Sunderland fan.
Jack also has two Wembley appearances in one season and not many can say that.
One was more a giant party for the fans, whereas the other meant absolutely everything for the future of the club. Sunderland failed in both and that’s how I see the Jack Ross era. It could have been brilliant, it was so nearly brilliant, so agonisingly close yet so far, ending in frustration and disappointment, like so many Sunderland managers before him.