Despite so far failing to land Cheltenham’s Mohamed Eisa and Bradford’s Charlie Wyke, Jack Ross is still keeping busy in other departments. As such we are set to land 34-year-old centre half Glenn Loovens, who is available on a free after being released by Sheffield Wednesday. We are also looking at Rangers midfielder Greg Docherty and Reading have finally accepted a £700,000 bid for George Evans. Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic have taken Callum McManaman off our hands, which goes against what was being reported earlier this week, but let’s face it, it’s silly season and money turns heads.
In other news, Dylan McGeouch reckons our match at St Mirren this weekend will have a bit of an edge to it, after we stole their manager. McGeouch said: “It’ll be good, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve played St Mirren a good few times over the years and it’s a good stadium and a good team. (Alan) Stubbs is my old manager so it will be good to go back and see a few familiar faces. Obviously with our manager going back to his old club with a few familiar faces, I think it will be a good game. St Mirren are looking good having just come up and we’re starting to click as well so it should be a good game, I’m looking forward to it.”
St Mirren captain Stephen McGinn has also been previewing the game. “I think Sunderland will bring a good support, so it’ll maybe have a little edge to it, which we’re thankful to them for. Hopefully we can have a decent crowd in here. Obviously, the return of our old manager, who we all think highly of – I’m sure he’ll get a fantastic reception of our fans, so we’re looking forward to that. “
Elsewhere, Jack Ross will welcome Bryan Oviedo to return to training on Monday but will also be looking to cash in on him ASAP to finance other moves. Ross said: “He’s due back on Monday. We’ve gave him a little bit of extra time off which I think was fair enough because he had a long summer in terms of prep and then the World Cup itself.”
Still with the manager and Ross has been talking up the youngsters we have at the club. Ross said: “The academy is such a good place, but so vast that my contact time would be less with them than previously. James [Fowler, assistant] and John [Potter] will go and watch them train, I try to do it too, but it can be difficult given my time constraints. They watched the 18s train on the morning of the Grimsby game, I trust them, their feedback is important. I saw them play at Sunderland RCA last week - once I’d found the ground! - and that is good as it lets me see them first hand. Young Brandon, he was really good and did really well. It is all progression for them and Bali never stops doing things that a 16-year-old probably shouldn’t do. It is encouraging, it is probably a lot to say you’d rely on them for the season, but encouraging to know you have them in the club. If you can manage them properly and look at what is best for them, whether that it is staying with us and progressing. For some of those older ones it may be going out on loan and if that is the case we will do that, it is important for us moving forward that we keep producing players. There are some very good players in the academy and that has been highlighted with these pre-season games too.”