We Go Again

After continuing to play him with a broken bone in his foot, Jack Ross may rest Aiden McGeady against Fleetwood and Southend United: “There is always a risk-reward element as a manager with decisions and, at the moment, that is very much in my thinking. There’s no point in playing him if he’s not physically fit and mentally right in terms of how he can move. It might be that he has an enforced rest because if we are involved in the play-offs then he comes back feeling a bit better, he has more healing time. At a push he could keep going as we are, but there is only so much pain that it takes away. It’s how he feels in the aftermath of matches as well, there are a lot of things involved. I have a good relationship with Aiden, I know how sore he is before games. Aiden has shown it already, he wants to play. It would have been easy not to play again this season after the tackle at Accrington. It would have been the case if it was impossible, I would have made that decision for him, but he could. His movement is hampered a little but he can still affect things on the park.”

Ross was also reacted to Joey Barton’s claim that “if I’d have had Sunderland’s budget, I’d have them up by now.” Ross said: "We'll never know, will we, is the easiest answer to that. I don't pay too much attention to other people's opinions. I've had a big job to do here and I've enjoyed it immensely. I've always worked on the basis that if I can walk away from here each and every day knowing how hard I've work at the job then I'm quite content, and that's how I've been all season. I suppose it's quite easy to throw out comments, but we won't ever really know. Shouldn’t be in League One? We have to get away from that. We are in and we were in at the start of the season. You have to accept that. In terms of how others view us, ultimately I work in an industry which is results driven. The opinion of whether you do a good job will vary weekly, twice weekly on the result sometimes. That’s the way it is. My background, my pragmatic approach, means it is about doing the best I can. I was proud to manage this club when I walked in and if I left tomorrow morning I would be proud of the job I did. There are elements I can’t control, the main drive is to do the job the best I can. The success element will be judged on whether we achieve promotion. I always encourage not to look back, we can’t affect what has gone on in the last couple of seasons. I have worked with the players on a daily basis, the culture, the staff here and how they are treated. They should take pride in that. They have come together as a group and they have tried their utmost to win the league this year."

Meanwhile, just like the fans, Jack Ross is struggling to plan his May, because our season could end on Saturday, in mid-May if we lose in the play-off semi-finals, or on May 26, the date of the play off final. Ross said: "I've got three different schedules at the moment for May and beyond, because if we do end up in the play-offs we don't know what days we would be playing. Then for the summer we have to have different plans in place depending on when the season finishes for us, and beyond that which league we are in. It's not ideal in terms of that uncertainty. There are elements of it that I can control to a degree, but there are elements where there are conversations to be had with other people at the club. It's just a case of trying to do that while trying to prepare and win games at the same time. We had a difficult summer last year in that respect. We were way behind and we don't want to be in that situation again, although we are not aided by the fact that our season may be extended. I'm still expecting us to be farther ahead than we were last year, just not quite as far ahead as we would be in an ideal world. Because I've got a good relationship with Stewart, I'm just working on the basis that if he has anything important to tell me, he'll tell me. It shouldn't affect me as manager. I've been keen to have a bit more structure about things on the football side and Stewart knows that and my ideas and the thinking behind it, so it's just trying to move that along and get it in place."