Ross Presser

Jack Ross has been quite frank in his Blackpool press conference and admitted that we haven’t been scoring enough goals and therefore have been failing to finish teams off. “We have gone ahead in a lot of games and not won – we have not scored the second goal in a lot of games. Irrespective of the level of football you are playing at, when there’s only one goal in the game there is always the opportunity for the opposition to get back into it. One indifferent decision – as on Saturday – can change the outcome and result. Scoring that second goal if you like would give the team a cushion and makes it more difficult for the opposition to come back into it. I think there’s a bit of frustration from the weekend and a determination to put things right. Frustration because we were close to winning the game on Saturday, but I always work to the premise you can never affect what has gone on – you can only affect what is ahead. And what we have to do Tuesday and Friday is two home games here where we have an opportunity to climb the table in our own hands because, Doncaster excepted, no-one else is playing at the top of the league.’’

“Like everything in football, there is no magic wand,” he added. “There is a lot of unseen work that goes on in football - not just at this club, but at a lot of other clubs too. We’re worked hard to try and improve it [scoring goals] and we’ll continue to work hard to try and improve it. It may sound very clichéd and not very exciting, but that’s the reality of it. The key aspect is those that are willing to keep doing it to change it, rather than trying and if it doesn’t work then giving up on it. Whether that’s tweaks in how we play, the work we’ve done on the training pitch has been a continuation of trying to do that. And we’ll keep trying to do that until we get it right. At various times this season we’ve had criticism for different things, it tends to float and then fix itself on something. For a weeks it had been set pieces, then we score from a corner on Saturday. We’ve worked hard on that for a long time. It wasn’t just last week we did it, we’ve been doing it for a long time. The staff have done it for a long time and they get a little bit of a reward on Saturday for it. It’ll be the same with making sure we both create more and then take more opportunities when they come.”

In terms of expectations from the fans and how he copes with the pressure involved, Ross added: “The expectations on us this season have probably shifted as the season’s gone on and I accept that, but undoubtedly supporters have got a big part to play. Especially here and in particular at home their part is huge because it’s well-documented that the home form had been poor for quite some time. This season, despite some frustrations we’ve remained unbeaten at home in the league and that’s a real positive. We’re going to really need them over the next three games. I would love to say they’re going to be really comfortable and everyone will sit back and say that was an easy win but it will be far from that and there has to be an element of patience required, but also responsibility from us to spark them into life as well. It’s been a collective effort and it’s important not to stray away from that. If you’re on the outside looking in you would still say we’re in a good position but sometimes when you’re immersed in it you can get caught up in it a little. It’s a big club and they support the club in many different ways and support the club financially. It’s part of a supporter’s right to have big expectations and to dare to dream and to want better things. You’ll probably always get a difference of opinion on what’s realistic from those in the game, but no, the expectations are fine, you’ve just got to be big enough and resilient enough to deal with them.”

On the injury front, Lee Cattermole returned to Sunderland training today. Ross added: “Nothing new from the weekend, Lee Cattermole was back training today and everyone else was fit and healthy. It is probably the healthiest we have been this season.”