Sunderland u23 manager Elliott Dickman has revealed in an interview with the Sunderland Echo that he was shocked and disappointed by the sacking of manager Jack Ross.
The Scotsman took over Sunderland last summer, on the back of the club’s relegation from the Championship. He inherited a squad of players that were broken. In comparison, they now have a young, talented and ambitious squad that are working hard to get Sunderland promoted.
Although Ross ultimately failed in his bid to get Sunderland back to the Championship, his tenure could’ve turned out a lot differently if he won the two finals they made last season. His side reached the Checkatrade and play-off final, however after losing both, the writing was on the wall in terms of his future at the club.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. Ross will go on to be a successful football manager, through his hard work and endeavour. Dickman was one of a number of people massively impressed by the Scottish manager’s work in the academy. He had this to say to the Echo: “He’s been fantastic for us as a group. The under-23s but also the academy, the link we had with him was terrific so I was surprised and disappointed to see such a great man and good manager leave.
“It wasn’t just the 23s, 18s, 16s, 15s, he was keen on a lot of the academy teams to see who was coming through, the fact that the manager was prepared, as was all the rest of his staff, to take time to come and see what we’re doing speaks testimony of the man.”
These quotes speak volumes and almost make you feel sorry for Ross that he failed, and lost his job. Clearly a very talented young manager, that worked hard and respected the position he was in.
Perhaps Sunderland was too big a job for him, maybe he didn’t know the league well enough, but he turned a team around that was at rock bottom, took them to two cup finals and left them in 6th place.
Ultimately, Sunderland were looking likely to miss out on automatic promotion again, and that is inexcusable. It probably was the right time to let him go, but it’s important not to forget some of the brilliant work Ross did while at Sunderland.