Ross Post Burnley

Sunderland have earned themselves a third-round tie at Sheffield United after knocking out Premier League Burnley. So, after a poor first two games against Oxford and Ipswich, we have now won five in a row in league and cup. “People might question from a distance what we’ve done this summer, and look at the changes we’ve made, but I’ve spoken often enough about the equilibrium we’ve brought to the dressing room,” said Ross. “We’ve done that contractually, we’ve got that better balance, and in terms of the attributes of the squad, I think it’s better balanced too. We had a young side tonight, five under-23s, and there was a lot of athleticism, which helps us. We learned from last season. We felt we had a good season, but ultimately we fell short. So, we then had to identify what we maybe lacked in the squad, and hopefully we’ve addressed that. It’s still very early for us, but we think we have those attributes that give us a greater athleticism. We made a number of changes, but they were very much first-team players. The players should take pride, they’ve come to a Premier League side away from home and won. It makes my job harder in keeping them happy, but it’s a nice problem to have.”

Ross was happy to see Will Grigg find the net for the first time since April. “I’m delighted for him,” said Ross. “He’s desperate to be a success at this club, he’s been through a challenging period but he’s continued to train well and we’ve continued to have faith in him. His performances coming off the bench of late have been good and have helped us win matches. He’s missed a really good opportunity (on Saturday) and people may have doubted him, but I didn’t. He led the line well tonight and when he gets a chance, you’ll back him to score. I’m really pleased for him.”

On the left back front, we’ve had bids turned down from Sheffield Wednesday for Morgan Fox and from Kilmarnock for Greg Taylor. “We will have one in before the end of the window,” said Ross. “It’s been challenging for loads of different reasons. I wouldn’t want to comment on any particular player. There are a list of players we have identified, some are loans, some fees, some frees. We’ve tried, and we are juggling a few balls in the air at the moment. Hopefully, in the next couple of days, we’ll find a solution to that particular problem.”