Selection Dilemmas

Jack Ross has a selection headache ahead of the cup visit of Sheffield Wednesday tonight. With so many players carrying knocks, returning from injury and some who simply need a rest, it’ll be interesting to see which players he gives a run out to. Ross said: “I think it’s still an important game for us and I want to win it. But after that we’ve got three league games in six days, two in the London area. That’s tough for a squad that is relatively low on numbers. I very much need to take that into consideration. In saying that, the 18-man squad we had at Luton, apart from a couple of changes, that will be the one we take into this game. It’s just how we rotate them round and how we use them. We’re going to have to be creative in that sense because we’ll have to come up with something that means we’re not relying on the same players in the forward areas. It’s a challenge but I’ll try and come up with something that means we’re still a threat and capable of winning the game. In forward areas I have to be careful as well because Josh Maja and Chris Maguire are all we have really. We have to look after them ahead of the important league games.”

 

Despite having to play a weakened starting eleven tonight, Ross wants to progress in the cup competitions. Ross added: “I’m looking forward to the game because the new experience for me is gauging new opposition. I can watch footage and I can watch teams, but I’m only really learning about them when I see them on the pitch and gauge the standard of them. From a Championship perspective, we played Middlesbrough - albeit only for 45 minutes in pre-season - but that was good. It gave me some insight into the quality in that league. The good thing for me is that I’ve got a number that have obviously played in that league and I would say have enough quality to play in that league as well. There’s a number of players who have been good within training and they’ve had opportunities, but they may be getting more of an opportunity tonight. I think the fact that it’s being broadcast on television adds to it as well and it means the game won’t be flat.”

 

Ross also spoke about promotion being the ultimate target. I like it when he talks sexy! Ross said: “We go into every home game with the intention of winning and if we do that on Sunday then I think it will be a healthy start ahead of two difficult away games. I’ve never shied away from it being the ambition for us and that was the case before a ball was kicked, before I met any of the players here and before obviously we recruited new members. It’s always been the ambition for me to get promotion. What I’ve seen is that it will be difficult, but what I’ve also seen is that we have enough quality within our group that will be able to cope with the challenges. What again has been pleasing is that, character and mentality wise, I think they’ve already shown in these few games that they are able to meet different challenges that they may come up against this season. That may have been the questioned that was posed of the group and of the club - ‘you cannot cope with the different challenges of this league’. And I think they’ve shown already that they will be able to do that, it’s just then replicating it across the remaining 44 league games. But the signs are certainly encouraging in that respect.”

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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.

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