Sunderland manager Jack Ross and his assistant James Fowler were the latest guests on the Roker Rapport podcast - which you can listen to in full later this evening (details down below) - and during their chat, they discussed Stewart Donald’s comments from his appearance on the podcast last week.
Donald claimed that Ross was quite relaxed about Sunderland’s transfers on deadline day, even before the League One record signing Will Grigg had signed for the club.
Ross says that relaxed was the wrong word but that he believes part of his job as a manager is to manage the players at his disposal and to try and improve every single player, something which he takes great pride in:
I know I listened to part of Stewart [Donald]’s most recent podcast with you and he says I was a lot more relaxed, that was because recruitment is important and it’s a very, very, very important part of football management but we can’t then forget about the coaching or management.
So, the reality is whenever the window closes the squad you have at your disposal, so when the summer window closed, because of injuries, etc, Josh Maja was the only recognised striker in our squad.
So we had two choices then as a manager and as a staff.
Do we moan about it and complain about it or do we make the most of what we’ve got and I think we did that.
So, yes it is much better that we recruited well but if the window had shut and we hadn’t, what would I have sat here and said?
Would I have complained about it, no.
I would have then said how do I get the best from what we’ve got? How do we as a staff work out the best system, best formation, best personnel, what do we do in training to get the best from them, how do we improve them?
So you can’t overlook that and that is why, maybe relaxed is the wrong word, but I have always felt as if that’s part of our job.
Part of your job is to make players better and we take great pride in that, we may not always get it right but we take great pride in kind of, what drives us on a daily basis is to say can we keep making those players better?
Now that doesn’t necessarily just mean it’s a young one - it can be ‘can we make Grant Leadbitter any better?’ Now we might not, as he’s a good player, a top player, but can we do anything that might improve him?
If we can, then great and if we have done then we’ve done our jobs properly.
That is just a taste of what Ross and Fowler discussed at the Academy of Light, with the Roker Rapport host Connor Bromley and you can listen to the full podcast later on this evening.
You can do that as soon as it is released by subscribing on iTunes, Acast, Spotify or YouTube, entering ‘Roker Rapport into your nearest search engine or by following us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).