Dear Roker Report,
I am dismayed at the number of letters advocating the sacking of Jack Ross and feel I must speak in his defence. I was at the Bolton game and I’m gutted we failed to beat them but would like to point out that we had twenty attempts at goal and failed to convert one.
In my opinion that does not show a lack of creativity or effort, but rather an inability to convert chances to goals by League One standard players. I also yearn for flowing football where we put teams to the sword but we have to be realistic - we are League One side with League One players and to get out of this league is not impossible in our current situation i.e. three points off a promotion place.
When you look at the club when SD and CM took over we were heading for extinction, they have steadied the ship and given us a chance of getting promotion.
Whilst I have been disappointed with some of our results we should keep faith with our club. Promotion should be our aim and if the Yanks buy into the club hopefully in the not too distant future we should achieve our Premier League goal.
I wrote this after Bolton but did not finish it until today. It’s amazing the difference a week makes.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I was personally pretty clear in my stance on Ross after Bolton - I felt that whilst his position seemed untenable, he’d be given a little more time to prove himself. As disappointing as Bolton was, we didn’t lose. Short term we needed to see two things - a winning run, starting immediately, and a clear change in approach on the field.
We beat Sheffield United deservedly, and we perhaps should have dismantled MK Dons in a more convincing fashion but you can’t argue that we didn’t deserve the victory. Ross immediately changed the personnel on the pitch and we’ve seen an increase in energy and productivity - moving Luke O’Nien into midfield and placing Lynch and De Bock in our defence has certainly made us look more cohesive, though once Aiden McGeady is fit we might see a reversion to our previous slow, cumbersome style that achieved results but wasn’t particularly pleasing on the eye.
I still think that the fans who want rid of Ross remain unconvinced. The second half on Saturday wasn’t great and where the first 45 had people salivating, they may have felt let down by the performance in the second period where we undoubtedly took our foot off the gas.
That said, we head to face a Lincoln side who have been battered all over since their manager left, and people will expect Sunderland to go there and take three points. Jack Ross knows this and knows that fans are sat waiting to see a complete performance from a squad of players who are genuinely capable of controlling a League One game for ninety minutes.
This has to be a long-term solution, though. The source of frustration for many fans has been that Ross can’t seem to get his team playing decent football at a decent tempo, regardless of our opponent. Until real progress is apparent, the manager will have his doubters.