I’m So Over It

Jack Ross reckons he’s moved on from missing out on automatic promotion and hopes his players have too. I guess we’ll find out if they have this evening. “I dealt with it pretty quickly to be honest,” he said. “I say this to players all the time: you can never affect anything that’s gone on before. Once a goal is conceded, you can’t take it away, all you can try and do is score at the other end. Once automatic promotion goes, there’s nothing you can do about it and so the focus then turns to what you can affect. What you can affect is the way we play these play-off matches and the results we achieve from them. The great thing about having another focus is that it then helps you to avoid wallowing in it. If we’d finished fifth 20 points adrift, I get that, but the points difference from (champions) Luton down to ourselves (nine) is probably the smallest it’s been between the top five for a number of years if not full stop. There is certainly no self-doubt in that dressing room.”

Ross also discussed the financial implications of promotion: “It starts the process of getting the club back to the level that everybody who follows the club believes it should be at. In terms of finances and the impact of being in a higher league, both in terms of revenue and costs, it’s better answered by other people at the club. I made the choice to come to this club because I didn’t want to be in this league for more than one season. I could have managed in a higher league right away (at Ipswich Town). My own ambition is probably a by-product. What the club can achieve is more important. I’ve crammed a lot into a short managerial career and I always want to be striving for success. I’ve never had a season in mid-table obscurity as a manager. It’s been a long slog this season to get to the point where we still have a chance to (win promotion) but it’s what I want to do and it’s why I feel good coming into work this week. The ambition was always to win promotion so if you gauge it in terms like that, then yes, we will not have achieved what we wanted to achieve (if they do not win the play-offs). If you gauge it in terms of what we have done as a club since the summer, that is a different argument. People judge football on end results and there is an element where it is fair to do so and an element that is unfair when people don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. I think culture change is a most interesting thing because most businesses think it takes two or three years to do and we have to change that within weeks, months. (Promotion) should be our ambition but a lot of damage was done at this club over a long period of time and a big support and a big club does not necessarily mean you can turn that around overnight.”