Sunderland boss Jack Ross reveals his Scotland national team ambition

Sunderland boss Jack Ross reveals his Scotland national team ambition

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

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.

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

“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.

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

“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.

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.

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.

“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.

“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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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

Jack Ross was left indebted to one of his Scottish summer signings after his side drew 1-1 with Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

Keeper Jon McLaughlin pulled off a tremendous late save from Conor Chaplin, allowing his defenders to then clear and preserve a point. After a season of goalkeeping misery in the Championship, Sunderland fans finally have someone solid they can depend on in goal.

The 31-year old arrived from Heart of Midlothian in the summer and Ross was quick to pour praise on his match-saving hero, as the Sunderland Echo reports.

“In that last period the game was very end-to-end and our keeper made two or three outstanding saves in that period.”

Of McLaughlin’s overall form, Ross was keen to reiterate how much he coveted the keeper in the summer and obviously, how delighted he has been with the return.

“I dont want to downplay it and say it was just what I expected – but it is! He is one of the early ones that I identified and fought quite hard for him to come, not because I wasnt supported, but because of where we were as a club at that time.”

The Edinburgh-born stopper started out with Harrogate Town before playing almost 300 games in England, predominately in League Two with Bradford City, but also for Burton as they achieved successive promotions.

After time with Bradford and Burton Albion, McLaughlin knows the English game well, but he’s still settled very quickly in the north east.

His former club are currently top of the Scottish Premier League and hoping to mount a title challenge, but if he helps get Sunderland promoted it will be a massive achievement in itself.

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