Kick In The Balls

So, ultimately Sunderland weren’t good enough to go up and it’s going to take a good few weeks to get over this latest kick in the balls. Here’s the manager’s reaction. “We were here not so long ago and lost in a really sore manner, but it doesn’t compare to today,” said Ross. “I think we knew the significance of the game, and the importance of coming out on the right side of the result. To lose in that manner, so late in the game, is particularly painful. Right now, that feeling of disappointment is the over-riding one, because of the manner we’ve lost the game. That will dissipate over the coming days and weeks, and when you regroup and come back again and refocus on next season, that becomes your goal. You don’t want to go through that again. We’ve had that horrible experience twice in two months, in very difficult circumstances. They have to use that as a driver for them in the future, irrespective of what lies ahead for them in their careers. They have to use it as a motivation to make sure that should they find themselves here again, or find themselves in an important game, that when success or failure is determined, they come out on the right side of it.”

“Over the course of the season, we’ve had to understand which areas we need to improve,” he added. “We haven’t fallen short by very much, but we have done (fallen short). That means there must be areas to improve upon. We have probably been aware of it for a while, but you can’t do that much over the last few months of the season when the transfer window closes. You have to be big enough to reflect on what you could have done better to avoid being in this sort of similar situation next season. I came here to take the club back to the Championship at the first time of asking,” added Ross. “I haven’t been able to do that, so I’ll carry that element of disappointment myself because I set high standards in everything I do. I came in with that ambition, and I was clear about it. But for every minute or every day that I’m given the opportunity to manage this football club, my determination to bring success to it will never diminish because it’s a brilliant club that deserves success. In the build-up to the game, people pointed to the last time these two sides played against each other, but for me, it was nothing to do with that,” he said. “It was about us winning promotion and secondly putting that record right. A number of people have come down here with a passion for the club, and you carry that responsibility every single time. That soreness and rawness of emotion the players and staff are feeling will be shared by the fans. They will be feeling that as well.”