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Roker Roundup: Were Sunderland negative under Jack Ross? Former boss dismisses ‘fake news’

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Jack Ross has dismissed suggestions that Sunderland were negative under his management, calling it ‘fake news’.

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Negative Sunderland is fake news

Jack Ross was appointed Hibernian manager late last week, a little over a month since he was sacked as Sunderland boss.

The failure to get the club promoted last season and the stuttering start to this eventually saw Ross pay with his job but a constant criticism during his Sunderland spell was the amount of draws and a seemingly unwillingness to attack teams.

In an interview with The Times, Ross takes umbrage at the suggestion that his Sunderland team were negative and says the only time he was ever happy with a point was during an away game at Barnsley:

Nah, it’s complete fake news.

There was only one time I was happy with a point and that was Barnsley away. It was blowing a hurricane.

We came back the most from losing positions. Half-time in the Checkatrade final I was talking about everything we did well, ‘keep doing it and we’ll score more goals’, so it is the complete polar opposite to what people have said.

Portsmouth made a change and went direct and we couldn’t get out. It’s not a computer game. It’s played by human beings who get nervous and make mistakes.

It’s not easy to win football matches and my record is about 50 per cent. I’m a better manager now than when I joined Sunderland.

19680990 Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group via Getty Images

Ross ‘harshly treated’ at Sunderland

Ross is not the only former Sunderland employee to believe he may have been sacked too soon, as speaking to The Herald, former Sunderland loanee Lewis Morgan feels Ross was harshly treated at the club.

The Scottish international believes the manager who has managed him at both Sunderland and St Mirren would have created something special at the Stadium of Light had the club persevered with him:

I think he was harshly treated down south. It was a tough job at a massive club. Expectations were high.

I don’t think the fans were desperate to get him out or anything. But in terms of the work he did, I think you can still see the progress now, the way they are going.

Given the right amount of time I am sure he would have created something really special down there. But it’s a great appointment for Hibs. I wish him well every success – just not against us!

With Morgan currently struggling for playing time at Celtic, that has led to suggestions that he will link up with Ross once more but the player says there has been no suggestion of that so far:

I know people have mentioned it but he hasn’t!

I just texted him to wish him well and he replied but that was it. I am just concentrating on working hard at Celtic.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Reported target coy on Sunderland link

Azerbaijan international Bahlul Mustafazada was recently linked with a move to the Stadium of Light during the January transfer window, with both the player and the president of the club he plays for - Sabah - answering questions about our interest in the 22-year-old.

The central defender played for his country in a home defeat by Wales at the weekend and speaking to the press afterwards, Mustafazada was asked whether he wanted to play in a foreign championship and the player made it clear that he would like to:

Of course. I really want to.

He was then asked once again about the reported interest from Sunderland and, although he remained coy about naming the club, he did emphasise that he needs to move abroad to aid his development as a player:

I can’t name specifically which club. They did not say anything to me, there was no official proposal. But for development it is necessary to speak abroad. I am aware of this. If there is such an option, then it must be considered.

Azerbaijan v Wales - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Tom Dulat - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images