Here’s a full transcript of Jack Ross’ pre-Pompey presser…
On getting the first win of the season against Accrington
"it was a difficult game for us given it was against a team from our own league away from home but it was a good result, it was what we deserved and naturally, we are pleased to be in the next round."
On the importance of attack-minded players grabbing early season goals
"You want your attack-minded players to get on the scoresheet as quickly as they can. Lynden has already scored two, Marc, Charlie and Aiden got off the mark on Tuesday as well so it means four of our attack-minded players already on the scoresheet for this season. Hopefully it bodes well for the rest of the season. The players I mentioned there, I want them to get more sharpness under their belt. Aiden is close to full fitness and even just having Charlie on the pitch on Tuesday was a bonus and it helps us as a squad."
On selection dilemma now facing him
"I have always had things to consider anyway but we have had players who are working their way back to full fitness - Max Power comes into that bracket - somebody who missed a big chunk of pre-season. Every week that goes past they catch up a bit more and Tuesday night was an opportunity for them to get match fitness under their belt in competitive games. The fact that they played well - those who came off the bench contributed - gives you a good problem as a manager. Your selection only becomes more difficult when you have players in good form."
On criticism facing his formation
"I don't think it is that important, to be honest. I said this post-match on Tuesday. It's important in terms of the preparation you do for the game but the truth is you are damned if you do and are damned if you don't. We played a certain way last year and there was a clamour to change it. We have played a certain way this year and there is a clamour to change it again. That is the modern world we live in nowadays. The appetite for change is just non-stop. Not just in football but in every day life. Those who work in the industry have a clearer understanding of what it takes to win football matches. Just to emphasise that point, in pre-season we were working at things that would make us more flexible, either in games or before games. We feel as if we have done that and we will pick teams accordingly every game that gives us the best chance of winning."
Is Portsmouth game a must-win? Is there a hangover from last season?
"I have said often enough that every game is a must win. That is the expectancy on everybody's shoulders at the club. The hangover from last season - I have said often enough that nothing we can do can affect what happened. So those who continually harp back to losing an injury time goal at Wembley does not help us move forward. It does not help us with what we have to achieve this season and we want to win the game on Saturday. We know the importance of winning matches regularly, particularly at home. Irrespective of who the opponent is, the time of the season, the importance of winning the game is never going to change. It should always have equal importance."
On whether there is more pressure to win after two draws
"Pressure is omnipresent here, I have said it often enough. It is there all the time, it is never going to change and you either have to have broad shoulders and deal with it or you don't I know I am that way and the players who have longevity here and have success in their careers will develop that as well."
On new players gelling at Sunderland
"The constant clamour for change and instant success is there all the time. Particularly in such a high profile industry like football you have a couple of choices. You can complain about it and say it is unfair or you can accept it being there and deal with it accordingly. There is nothing you can do to affect the swell of opinion. It is about how consistent you are in your behaviours and your actions and how much you belief you have them. This can be a brilliant place and a difficult place to play for those reasons but you have to be strong enough mentally with that and prove you are good enough on the pitch."
"Both squads have changed personnel to a degree. Portsmouth have lost some good players, as have we, but they have recruited well also. Managers and coaching staff remain the same so there is a degree of continuity in what both teams will do and there is a degree of familiarity because we played each other so much last season. I think there will be very few surprises. They were good games last year and they had an edge to them. An enjoyable edge to them and I think they had an atmosphere that were all enjoyable. I am looking forward to that again and they have a squad and a manager who will undoubtedly be up there challenging at the top end of the table. It's an important game but generally the players have responded well to these types of games. The games that have been televised live or against a team people would regard as rivals."
On frustration about questions about his tactics
"I don’t find it frustrating. It is part of the modern game. You have to be careful not to look precious but if you think you are skilled in your profession you have every right to believe you have a decent understanding of it. There is nothing you can do to change the scrutiny. That is just the way it is. How I do my job every day is what bothers me. I know how hard I work at it. I will continue to do that. I take pride in the culture we have now. We went to Wembley twice last year, we have lost once at the Stadium of Light. I think that’s all right but I want to make it better. That is what drives me on to make it better. If I make it better I achieve promotion and that is what I came here to do. I try to deal with the facts rather than the opinion or the myth. I read something the other day that 92 per cent of what you read on the internet is either false or opinion."
On everyone pulling in the same direction
"The only way you ever achieve success collectively as a club is if you are all on the same page. That starts within the confines of the training ground because you need that togetherness with players and staff and everybody who works within the club. I would like to think we have created a culture whereby the staff around the club feel as if they are invested in what we do. That extends to the fanbase. I have said it often enough that it is a fanbase that is incredibly loyal, committed, and passionate. Because of that it is desperate for success and wants the club back at a level it belongs. That desperation for success can manifest itself in different ways but ultimately we need a collective to have any success. I feel like we have made big strides in that but the simplest way to achieve that is to win football matches every week. The responsibility then ultimately falls on me as manager. You can debate it but that is the nuts and bolts of it."
On Will Grigg's lack of goals
"I can’t shy away from the fact and Will knows because we speak regularly about his goal return, I haven’t got it from him and he hasn’t delivered the amount of goals he would have like to have got. He will tell you that as well but you have two choices. You wallow in self-pity or you look to how we rectify it. What I and my staff can do and how Will can affect it. We will continue to do that until we get the goal return we want from him. As a striker that is what you are judged on and as a club we are confident we can still get that from him. Being a forward is the hardest part of the game. They are the ones who win and lose you games. You are judged on goals - fairly or unfairly.”