Manager's preview: Ross' players raring to go

Jack Ross has been encouraged by the response his players have produced following their first league defeat of the season.

The Lads return to action on Saturday when Rochdale travel to the Stadium of Light, as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s loss at Burton Albion.

In the past seasons, heads have dropped and the Black Cats have failed to respond to disappointment, but Ross has seen nothing but positives and is looking forward to seeing his side back in action.

And while the proof will ultimately be in the pudding, the Sunderland boss praised the reaction his players have produced throughout their pre-match preparations.

“The good thing is as a group of players, they’re responsive to the information you give them, but I think they’re obviously quite self-aware,” said Ross.

“So, they understand why they didn’t play last week and then the next challenge is obviously to put it right.”

He continued: “It’s been interesting to see how they’ve reacted, and their response has been really good on the training pitch, so the next test is how they respond on a matchday.

“You will lose football matches at some point – we don’t want to, and the ambition is never to go and do that – but it will happen at some point.

“When that happens, it’s the reaction that’s the most important thing and that will be seen in terms of the performance level on Saturday.

“I’ve got an enormous amount of respect for what Keith Hill has done there, as his record has been terrific in terms of gaining the club promotions and establishing themselves in this league.

"They obviously had a good result last week and their away record is very good as well.

“It will be another tough game for us.”

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