In Between Days

Following on from our draw at Coventry on Saturday, Jack Ross reckons that managing Sunderland is a privilege and our fans are mint. "It is a remarkable following for any team, in any league, in any country - that is the best way to describe it. It is a privilege to manage a club like this and have that following. I never take it for granted, as someone who loves football, to look at that end of the pitch and hear the noise that comes from it is outstanding. It drives me on to give them a team to be proud of. When I took the job, the first thing was to get a team on the pitch that reflected their passion from the stands. I think we have that now, we can improve and get better at certain aspects of the game, but they can at least relate to what is being given on the pitch. It replicates the commitment they show. To come in those numbers away from home is magnificent and I’m pleased we at least gave them something to go home with.”

Meanwhile, Ross has been chatting about turning Lee Cattermole into a goal machine. “We did some stuff on Thursday around that type of finish, he was split half and half doing that with the defensive work – obviously it paid off for him! Technically he has quality so when he gets in that area then you do fancy him and he fancies himself in that area now – long may it continue. He recognises he still has an energy to bring to the game and the balance with other players at times is encouraging him to do that. Maybe there is that opportunity to get forward more than there has been previously.”

The gaffer also touched on the captaincy and how certain players, including Cattermole, are leaders even if they don’t have the armband. “I have spoken before about (current captain) George Honeyman and his commitment to every single game and (that of) some of the players we have bought in, the likes of Jack Baldwin. A lot of them can show it in different ways, some can be more vocal than others, some can lead by example. Lee is vocal in the dressing room, he makes demands of people, he cares an awful lot about football, that has been interesting to see. To work with players first hand you get a feel for their passion for the game. He loves playing and he wants to play and wants to do well, sometimes it manifests itself in different ways. He has that drive and it pulls other players along. He carries that (aura) because of his career and what he has done to date. There is a starting point for respect, thereafter you have to continue to earn that and every time he trains, he trains properly. Lee is always at it and it drags other people along. I have a group that do that every single day and it is a help to me as a manager.”

All 2,628 tickets for Bradford City away, on Saturday 6 October, are now sold out. You can book transport for Coventry and Bradford via ALS here…