Sunderland scrutiny new to Jack Ross as he discusses pro and cons of managing a big club

Sunderland scrutiny new to Jack Ross as he discusses pro and cons of managing a big club

Stewart Donald trolls Newcastle fan by labelling Sunderland as the biggest club in the North East

Sunderland boss Jack Ross says his “ultimate ambition” is to become the Scotland manager at some stage.

The Scot, 42, is relishing the challenge of reviving the North-East club, who currently sit third place in League One, three points off the top.

As reported by the Sunderland Echo, he tweeted: “Thank u to all the travelling Sunderland AFC fans today. Making me feel part of u all. Sorry we didnt bring home 3 pts-almost!! Roll on Tuesday – we go again. Everyone could have reacted so differently & the way u responded is truly amazing. All in it together – fantastic.”

He moved to the Stadium of Light this summer after guiding St Mirren back to the Scottish Premiership last season.

The draw meant Sunderland slipped to fourth, overtaken by Doncaster Rovers, but they remain in touch with the leaders after ten games of the season. One of those sides, Peterborough United, visit Sunderland this week and Donald had a message to the fans who have not bee behind the club so far this season.

“I wanted to play for my country as a player. I got a B cap and that was it,” Ross told BBC Scotlands Sportsound.

A Lee Cattermole goal earned them a point, although the heroics of Jon McLaughlin and Jack Baldwin ensured it remained 1-1, with Donald watching all of the action from the stands with the Sunderland faithful.

“But I grew up watching Scotland at Hampden a lot with my dad as a kid, and it is always something that has drawn me back.

Rosss predecessors as Sunderland manager include Dick Advocaat, David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, Martin ONeill, Roy Keane, Gus Poyet and Paulo Di Canio.

The former Alloa Athletic boss says he felt no trepidation in following such established names at such a big club, having previously rejected overtures from Barnsley and Ipswich Town.

Donald has been a breath of fresh air at Sunderland and whilst they’re not out of the woods yet, the future under his stewardship does look brighter than it did in May.

“Success for me at the moment will be gauged by can I return this club to the Premier League? Because of the structure and facilities at this club, it undoubtedly belongs in the Premier League,” he said.

Following the game, the former Eastleigh supremo thanks those who travelled to support the side, and for making him feel part of them.

“It is not an easy task to get it there, but I would probably only view myself as being successful here if I can get the club back there.”

“If you’re staying away – please come and give us a chance again! We will do our best not to disappoint you!”

Ross is only three years into his management career, after a period as assistant boss at Dumbarton and a 15-month spell on Hearts coaching staff.

He then helped Alloa recover from relegation to the third tier, and transformed St Mirren from the brink of relegation to Championship title winners the following season.

And Ross says he feels more comfortable now than he ever did during his playing career at Clyde, Hartlepool, Falkirk, St Mirren and Hamilton Academical.

“I genuinely did believe management was the right fit for me, more so than playing. It sounds bizarre because I did okay, made a reasonable living out of it, and enjoyed some reasonable highs.

“But playing can be tough. There are a lot of things you have to get through on a weekly basis. I still go through that in terms of the stresses and pressure of the job but management just feels right.

“I always wanted to manage and now I am doing it, it feels the most comfortable I have been in my own skin throughout my entire adult life.”

You can listen to the full interview on Sportsound on Sunday, 30 September, on Radio Scotland between 12:00 and 13:00 BST

Sorry, were having problems with our video player at the moment, but are working to fix it as soon as we can

After a playing career with saw him feature for Clyde, Falkirk and St Mirren among others, Ross failed to land senior international honours – but admits the lure of representing his country has always drawn him back.

That means a shot in the Hampden Park hotseat would prove attractive for the Sunderland boss – but he knows that will only come if he is successful on Wearside.

“But I grew up watching Scotland at Hampden a lot with my dad as a kid, and it is always something that has drawn me back.

Ross focus, therefore, is still very much on the Stadium of Light as he looks to guide Sunderland back up the football pyramid following back-to-back relegations.

The Scot believes that the Black Cats belong in the top flight and wants to guide them back there in the long-term – admitting that anything less than that could not be viewed as a success.

“Success for me at the moment will be gauged by can I return this club to the Premier League? Because of the structure and facilities at this club, it undoubtedly belongs in the Premier League,” he added.

“It is not an easy task to get it there, but I would probably only view myself as being successful here if I can get the club back there.”

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