On the day that Sunderland fans world-wide are having a duvet day and watching Sunderland Til I die on Netflix, Lynden Gooch is set to sign a new contract. Jack Ross explained: “The dialogue with Lynden as a club has been pretty good,” said Ross. “I would hope there would be positive news in that respect soon. That was probably the one Stewart was alluding to. There’s nothing concrete as yet. Lynden is another player that I am close to and he has been terrific for me this season. He genuinely loves this club and he has a real affinity with the club and area. He wants to grow with us, so I will be hopeful that in the near future there will be positive news on him. His commitment and his approach, not just his contribution in terms of goals and assists, which have been very good, but his overall levels have been very good and his desire to do well for the club is very evident. He is an interesting one because Paul Walsh (sports scientist) gave me some minutes comparing this season and last to look at what we are loading on the players. The two that have played in significantly more minutes this season are Josh Maja and Lynden. Lynden is the one who has surprised me a little, I don’t know if he had injuries last season or through a lack of selection. The number of minutes he has played at this stage of the two seasons is way above, that’s testament to his performance levels. I think he is feeling the benefit of having that consistency of selection.”
In the world of politics, Sunderland shareholder, Juan Sartori has been chatting about his candidacy for Uruguayan presidency and after selling his legal cannabis company, is looking to end many of his business interests. However, ALS understands that does not include SAFC, where he has very little hands on involvements, so being president of Uruguay won’t affect his involvement at the club. He said: “I am leaving all my companies, leaving the directories, quoting on the stock exchange and selling several companies. You have to make politics without conflicts of interest: the best way is to do one thing or another. The campaign will finance it by contributing what I can, according to the legal framework that is in force. In addition to raising among the people, who not only contribute with resources but with ideas.
Meanwhile, Jack Ross has been chatting about losing a match, which doesn’t happen that much these days, thankfully. He said: “Defeat’s been an unusual feeling this season because we have not had it very often, the reaction is always the most important thing. It was certainly just acutely felt in the cup. But it is good we have that mentality in such a short space of time because we have got used to not losing. That’s what we wanted to do. It’s about continuing that because if you maintain that over the course of the season then you give yourself a good chance of being successful. I always work on the basis that you can take something from every game, it goes back to consistency of behaviour so we don’t suddenly change what we are doing because we have lost a game or won it 5-0. “There have been times when we have looked back on games and that has been fairly consistent, sometimes within a poorer performance it allows you to highlight a couple of key things that if you don’t them it gives you less chance to win a game. The understanding from the club has been good this season, but sometimes that little reminder is a little easier when it comes on the back of a defeat. The one thing I have learned from my playing days is that you can’t get too high with highs and too low with the lows. It does stand you in good stead. Very few teams will go through undefeated. That’s including very good teams who have not managed to do that. You have to try to make sure you don’t get too despondent when you do lose a game. It is more encouraging the things they have shown for the bulk of the season.”
We face Bristol Rovers on Saturday, who sacked Darrell Clarke yesterday. Ross said: “Irrespective of the teams’ league position we have faced, they have always reacted to playing at the Stadium of Light. I would imagine this challenge will be as tough as it has been for every home game. It is nice to be at home again after Tuesday, a disappointing display, we have not had to bounce back very often this season but when we have we have done it well. I would expect the same.”
Finally, Jack Ross has been praising Reece James, who has done a sterling job since coming into the side to cover the injured Denver Hume and is still keeping Bryan Oviedo out of the starting line-up. "I think he could play at a higher level. If you look at his pedigree and the club where he started at, and his record in this league it shows that - also, he is still fairly young as well. He's been one of our steadiest performers, and that's testament not just to his ability but also to his character. Not so long ago, he probably saw himself as third-choice in that area because of the form of Bryan and the emergence of Denver Hume. Circumstances meant that got the opportunity to come in and all you can ever ask is that a player takes the opportunity, and he has very much done that. He has made himself a fixture in the back four and in the team, and I have been really pleased with his contribution. His absence during the week was simply to give him a breather because he has played a lot of football recently. There was an element of risk with signing him, but we looked at where he had been over the last couple of years and I think he was delighted to come to a club of this stature. Given what I've seen of him previously, and what I know about him, and what I see of him in training every day, I think he will get better as the season wears on - I still don't think we have seen the best of him. His performance level has been very consistent. I think sometimes players deserve a lot of credit. He had a couple of years where he hadn't played a lot and in that period you always question where you are going and what lies ahead, so for him it was probably a case of seeing what happens. He has relocated and moved, coming away from the Manchester area where he had played most of his career. I speak a lot about low-maintenance players like Jon McLaughlin, and Reece falls into that same category. He's conscientious and easy to manage, and he produces consistent performances."
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