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Jack Ross lays out transfer ambitions - confirms Sunderland’s priority is signing a left back

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We’ve picked out the key quotes from Jack Ross’s meeting with the press today - including what he had to say about how signing a new left back is a priority for Sunderland before the transfer window closes.

Sunderland v Heerenveen Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack on... Team news

[We] still have some missing, but some obviously edging closer to full fitness.

Aiden’s had another full week of training so he’s more or less back up to speed now, Max is getting closer in terms of of the amount of training he’s done, Duncan Watmore’s picked up a knock so he’s unavailable, Charlie Wyke’s still unavailable, Ethan Robson’s still unavailable.

So, like I said, those who missed a good chunk of pre-season - like Aiden, Max Power, Chris [Maguire] missed a little bit as well, so they’re getting back to full fitness now as well.

South Shields v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly
Charlie Wyke is out injured
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack on... the failure to beat Oxford

Yeah - it’s one game out of 46 league games. I suppose I always have a slightly different outlook on things because, probably different to most other people, I watch the game more than once, probably three times and from different angles as well.

When you’re asked your opinion post-match that’s always the one as a manager that I think is maybe most difficult always to get right, because it’s very quickly after the game and there’s a lot of emotion involved in it.

So naturally when I have the chance to watch the game again, sometimes you adjust your thoughts on it and sometimes it’s consistent with what you thought at the time, and looking back at the game - having watched it again the three times - what I said after the game I still stand by it, that I thought our general play was good.

We had a lot of opportunities in the final third in terms of working the ball in that area - our final bit of quality, either from wide areas or within the box, wasn’t good enough and I said that immediately post-match and I think having watched the game again as I said It’d be a fair criticism.

So a lot of the parts of the play, and what we had worked on were good, the last part - which I think, again, I said post-match which is the hardest part and also the most important part we need to be better at.

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack on... where we fell short

The margins in which we fell short were small. I think I said this post match on Saturday, there’s a myth around what those margins were - it wasn’t not scoring enough. I mean, I know this because I look at these details.

Again, I’m repeating myself from post-match Saturday but on average in the last six seasons you need to score 75 goals to get promoted - we scored 80 last season. But, on average you’ve got to keep twenty clean sheets - and we only kept 13. So, this myth that goes around about why we fell short, it’s probably different than the actual reality of it.

Saturday was another example of that we have to keep clean sheets in games, cos if we keep a clean sheet we score and we would have won the game. I know it sounds very simplistic but that was another lesson for us at home, because every time we fall behind at home and we give teams something to hang on to it makes the game more challenging because the game becomes a little bit more stop-start and difficult then to flow.

So, the fine margins that we want to improve upon, the players are aware of and we understand them - it’s then the next part which, again, is the hardest part, is doing it on the park.

Sunderland Pre-Season Training Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack on... business to be done

As I said post match on Saturday, we still feel as if we need another one on the left hand side of the pitch - obviously, we have Denver there who is a young man and we feel has a big future, but we need competition in that area of the pitch and also depth on that side of the pitch because he’s the only real natural we have to play in that area.

We have players who can provide cover there, but ideally you want somebody that plays on the natural side of the pitch so it’s something that we have been working on but naturally when the Championship and Premiership window draws to a close today that will impact upon the availability of some players at those clubs coming out, and obviously the ability for us to bring them to the club within the parameters we’re working in as well because that, with the window closing today for them obviously shuts down the number of options that these clubs have to get players out.