Sunderland coach reveals why Jack Ross was different to other Black Cats managers
Sunderland Under-23s boss Elliott Dickman was shocked following the sacking of Jack Ross last week and has paid tribute to the former Black Cats manager.
During his 18-month spell on Wearside, Ross regularly attended under-23 fixtures and was in constant contact with the academy staff.
And Dickman, who took charge of the under-23 side in February 2017, hopes the new first-team manager will take a similar interest in the club’s youngsters.
“He’s been fantastic for us as a group,” said Dickman when asked about Ross. “The under-23s but also the academy, the link we had with him was terrific so I was surprised and disappointed to see such a great man and good manager leave.
“It wasn’t just the 23s, the 18s, 16s, 15s, he was keen on a lot of the academy teams to see who was coming through, the fact that the manager was prepared, as was all the rest of his staff, to take time to come and see what we’re doing speaks testimony of the man.
“To be fair to him he came into the club and addressed everybody, all the staff, the academy, Black Cats house, all the players.
“In the past managers have left and moved on but Jack came in and made sure he said goodbye to everybody, not just coaches and players, everybody, kitchen staff, cleaning staff, admin staff. Again that speaks volumes of the guy.”
Dickman now hopes Sunderland's new manager will take a similar interest in the club’s successful academy, which has gained a strong reputation and provided a clear pathway into the first team.
“Hopefully they will,” added Dickman. “Obviously everyone is different personality wise so he’ll bring his own personality whoever the new manager is going to be.
“It’s another opportunity for the under-23 players to impress them and show what they can do, at the end of the day the new manager will make his own mind up on what he sees.
“There are a lot of young lads who have had that opportunity and to be fair to Jack Ross and his staff they’ve definitely promoted that.
“Hopefully the new manager will be just as keen to look at the younger lads.”