Jack Ross says he stands by his assertion that Sunderland deserved their win at Plymouth last weekend.
Derek Adams raised eyebrows after the game when he said that the Black Cats had ‘ridden their luck’ and ‘have to be careful’.
Adams was not the first suggest that results are not necessarily matching performances when it comes to Sunderland, but Ross said their clinical displays are no fluke.
“Every manager has their own approach to how they analyse games,” he said.
“My post-match comments were different, I felt we were decent in our performance and deserved to win. I’ve watched the game again since then and my opinion hasn’t changed.
“But I don’t have any issue with it. It takes a lot more than that to rattle me, if I’m honest.”
The post-match comments sparked intense debate.
Ross would not disagree with the notion from Adams that ‘they won’t have it all their own way this season’.
His players fully understand the effort takes to be successful in League One and are under no illusions that they will simply be able to blow opponents away.
“I’m fortunate that the players have taken that on board, they know that and believe it [how hard they have to work]”, he said.
“It’s an interesting one for me because I was speaking to Catts the other day about it.
“I asked him about the Premier League and said, you must have had games against the Liverpools, Man Citys, and thought, ‘we were the better team but lost’.
“He said, ‘yeah, loads of times’.
“If you ask myself, James, John, we played against Celtic and Rangers loads of times, thought we were the better team, and lost.
“That’s what good teams do.
“I do find it intriguing that when Jon makes saves, it’s almost as if [he shouldn’t].
“I’ve enjoyed all the games this season and they have been hard. We’ve always been very respectful of the opposition.
“I try to be accurate in my assessment of games, you won’t always get it right because sometimes your emotions get the better of you.
“All we can control is what we do. I generally don’t get uptight about what other managers think about what we do, I’ve read it a lot pre-match, about budgets and the like.
“Every manager out there has their own unique challenges, and I had a hell of a unique one this summer. It is what it is.”
Much was made of Plymouth’s superior shot count, as well as the defining contribution of goalkeeper McLaughlin.
Sunderland have had to grind out their wins at times and while Ross acknowledges the individual quality of his squad has at times made the difference, he also says hard work on the training ground is paying off.
“We have quality but we also do a lot of preparation,” he said.
“We do work on the big-pitch stuff but we work a lot on those specific areas, at least 45 minutes of our session on Friday.
“John and James take the defence and I work from middle through to front.
“I’ve got good players and I enjoy working with them.
“But it’s also [due to] habit and preparation, I’m sure they get sick of me saying the same things on the training pitch. But they’re doing it in games and getting their rewards.
“Scoring is such hard part of the game and if you keep doing it week in, week out, you give yourself a big chance of winning.”