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Flashback: Sunderland’s initial excitement around Jack Ross that didn’t last

In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.

When Jack Ross joined Sunderland, he did so with plenty of excitement filling the Stadium of Light due to his appointment.

Much of that was coming from the man himself, as he enthusiastically said to the club’s official website: “This is a fantastic opportunity to take charge of an incredible football club.

“If you look at the history, the facilities and most important of all, the fanbase, you can see what this club can be. To be part of the team to help realise that potential is something that fills me with excitement.”

Chairman Stewart Donald’s comments will have also endeared Ross to the fans: “The fact he turned down lucrative offers from elsewhere, including clubs currently in a higher division than ourselves, is a testament to his commitment and desire to succeed at this club and his belief in our vision for the future.”

However, this, of course, was not everlasting, as Ross has now had his contract as Sunderland manager terminated by the club, which they confirmed on Tuesday.

The relationship between Ross and many Sunderland fans has continuously soured as time has gone on, especially after the Black Cats failed to secure promotion from League One last season, losing the play-off final 2-1 against Charlton Athletic, at the hands of a 94th-minute header from Patrick Bauer, as per Transfermarkt.

There has even been a point where Ross has hit out at the supporters in his media interaction, even comparing them to “an anchor stopping the club moving forward” after they complained about the performance during a win against Accrington Stanley this campaign.

Plenty of fans had grown tired of his tactics this season, calling for him to be sacked, which was the case after the 2-0 loss against Lincoln City, the game which proved to be his last in the Sunderland hot seat.

Speaking after letting Ross go, Donald said: “Jack has worked extremely hard and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management.”

It is true that Ross has helped to stabilise the club, taking over after their second consecutive relegation, coming close to taking them back to the Championship at the first attempt.

However, that is not deemed enough now, with his style of play coming into question, the fact no clean sheets have been kept in the league being cause for concern, and the current position of sixth in the league not deemed good enough.

In truth, the excitement that was initially felt by both manager and fans faded, turning into a murky and unhealthy relationship that was only ever going to end one way.

Sunderland fans, do you think sacking Ross was the correct decision? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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Flashback: Sunderland’s initial excitement around Jack Ross that didn’t last
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