Sunderland look to embark on new era under talented young boss Jack Rossby Jack Kitson / 25 May 2018, 14:00Tweet
After days of “he said, she said” between St Mirren, Ipswich and Sunderland, it’s the latter who have now installed Jack Ross as their seventh manager in three years after he signed a two-year contract at the Stadium of Light.
Ross decided not to lead promoted St Mirren’s 2018/19 SPL campaign in order to test himself in England’s third-tier, a division the Black Cats have not played in since 1987/88.
Sunderland are looking to bounce back from a couple of desperately miserable seasons - under bosses David Moyes, Simon Grayson and then Chris Coleman - during which the confidence-crushed club suffered the ignominy of consecutive relegations from the Premier League down to League One.
Ross doesn’t have the experience of Moyes, or four promotions with four clubs like Grayson, while he’s not reached the remarkable European Championship heights with Wales like Coleman, however between them this trio of managers scraped just 12 league wins from a combined 81 matches in charge of Sunderland.
With that said, it’s refreshing to see Sunderland taking a chance on a hungry, exciting and passionate young manager who arrives on Wearside straight off the back of leading St Mirren to the Championship title, which saw him crowned PFA Scotland Manager of the Year - in the process he managed to edge out Celtic’s treble-winning boss Brendan Rodgers.
Sunderland supporters will now be desperately hoping that the club’s penchant for a rapid turnover of managers - 11 gaffers in 10 years - is a thing of the past, as Ross bids to steady a sinking ship and kick start a new era at the Stadium of Light.
The last Sunderland manager to oversee 100 games was Roy Keane.— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) May 24, 2018
Since Keane's departure in 2008 #safc have stormed through 10 permanent managers & 4 caretakers (Stockdale x2). pic.twitter.com/EUz28NUSSw
Back in October 2016 Ross arrived at a struggling St Mirren side that were rooted to bottom of the Scottish Championship, having failed to win any of their opening eight games.
The former Alloa Athletic boss lost each of his first six league matches in charge, but went on to oversee a cracking final stretch, during which the Buddies lost only two of their last 14 matches, which secured their second-tier survival.
The season just gone was drenched in success, as Ross’ troops stormed their way to the second-tier title by a whopping 12 points, accumulating 23 wins from 36 games.
The fact that Sunderland have appointed Ross at the start of the summer is a huge plus, as the Scot now has the time to sort his squad out, get rid of the deadwood, bring in new recruits, and make the necessary preparations for the new season.
Sunderland have been installed as the early 9/2 favourites to win League One, but while it’s simply too soon to make any predictions, you’d expect Ross’ men to be right in the mix for promotion come the latter stages of the campaign.
St Mirren's superb 19 month transformation under the in-coming new Sunderland manager Jack Ross pic.twitter.com/LD37SRNauk— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) May 24, 2018