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Roker Roundup: Celtic ‘win race’ to sign Sunderland target & Jack Ross on his surprise sacking

A report claims that Celtic have won the race to sign a young Sunderland target, whilst former manager Jack Ross has spoken about his Sunderland sacking.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Premiership Photo by Gary Hutchison / SNS Group via Getty Images

Ross surprised by Sunderland departure

Jack Ross was not worried about his future when he was sacked by Sunderland, as he was confident his record at the club would help him find work quickly.

That turned out to be the case, with Scottish Premiership side Hibernian deciding to replace Paul Heckingbottom with the former Black Cats boss.

Speaking about his departure, Ross says he never expected the axe to fall after losing only two of his last 14 games in charge of the club and never felt like a manager under pressure:

I think when you get sacked, the majority of times it’s because you are having a horrendous run. So you probably, through that horrendous run, ponder all the rights and the wrongs of it.

But we had lost two out of 14 games so I wasn’t in this cycle of thinking: ‘Oh my God, I am under massive pressure here, I’m going to lose my job’.

If you lose six, seven, eight games in a row you probably start thinking: ‘I’m not sure if I want to go through that again’. I felt at Sunderland we were in a different set of circumstances so I felt OK.

I didn’t feel damaged in any way. I felt alright about it, so that might have helped me come back so quickly too.

I was sacked on the Tuesday and probably woke up Wednesday morning believing I was a better manager. On the Tuesday I was under so much pressure all the time because you had to win every single week. Then on the Wednesday I woke up and people have started to look at us only losing ten of 75 games overall and two of 14 this season. It maybe wasn’t that bad.

That’s maybe a strange set of circumstances to be sacked.

I loved my job there. Sunderland’s a brilliant club and there are so many good people there who I want to see do well. So I don’t look and think: ‘Oh they’re not winning games now so that’s a vindication of me, proof I was doing OK’.

Meanwhile, former Hibernian manager John Hughes believes Ross will be a success at the club, particularly if he is backed in the transfer market.

Talking at a media event for the Scottish Cup sponsors, Hughes thinks the Sunderland duo of Dylan McGeouch and Marc McNulty returning to Easter Road will help Ross achieve European football:

I have always seen Hibs as a top four club, getting into Europe and getting runs in the cup and if you don’t do that, you always have to be in the top six. I think Jack will do that and if he is bringing in the kind of players I am assuming he will, I can see that happening.

If it is the likes of McGeouch and McNulty then he also has the experience of seeing those players down in England and I think Hibs are at the stage where they can back him. I think they run a tight ship but I think they will know that they do need two or three. Saying that, one or two might have to go, as they shuffle the pack.

Livingston v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Premiership Photo by Gary Hutchison / SNS Group via Getty Images

Former loanee linked with Bolton after disciplinary breach

Former Sunderland loanee Jimmy Dunne has had his loan terminated at League One rivals Fleetwood Town after a breach of the club’s discipline.

Fleetwood manager Joey Barton said although the player did well on the pitch, he crossed a line in regards to club discipline and hinted that the dressing room turned against the Burnley player:

It’s another thing that will stay in the confines of the football club, another discipline breach in our opinion. Something that is non-negotiable for us. A lesson that needs to be learned for a young player.

Jim did great, had a couple of good performances and scored a couple of good goals, but some things are just non-negotiable and he crossed a line for us.

Unfortunately for us we decided we didn’t want to renew his loan and that we are going to go in a different direction.

We’ve just decided to change direction, there was a line crossed; for our dressing room it was impossible for it to continue.

I always speak to my dressing room because they are the football club. The players are the ones who go out and they’re in the trenches. They have to be sure that everyone is facing the same direction and they’re not going to get a sideswipe.

We have to clear that up, that has been dealt with and we move forward.

Dunne was quickly linked with a move to another League One club in Bolton Wanderers by journalist Alan Nixon:

Nixon has also linked Sunderland with Lewie Coyle, a full-back currently on-loan at Fleetwood from Leeds United. The 24-year-old is out of contract in the summer and Leeds may be willing to cash in this month:

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Celtic ‘win race’ for reported Sunderland target

Sunderland were reportedly interested in Scottish starlet Bruno Davidson, with the Scottish Sun going as far to say the club had made an offer for the young winger.

Davidson is currently on the books of Edinburgh-based Scottish academy Hutchison Vale and had attracted plenty of interest due to his displays at youth level.

The 15-year-old was said to be the subject of offers from Sunderland and Celtic, had visited both Southampton and Liverpool earlier in the season and was also attracting interest from Newcastle United, Leicester City and West Ham United.

However the Daily Record report that Celtic believe they have won the race for the player who turns 16 in April and hope to tie him down to a three-year deal in the coming week.

Celtic FC Media Access Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group via Getty Images