Former Sunderland manager Jack Ross has dismissed claims he played negative football on Wearside as ‘fake news.’
Ross was appointed the manager of Hibernian last week after losing his job at the Stadium of Light in October. He paid the price for failing to get the Black Cats promoted last season and an average start to this season that saw him leave the club in sixth, four points off second place in League One with a game in hand, a performance simply not good enough for many fans.
The forty-three-year-old came in for constant criticism from fans frustrated at what they perceived as the negativity of the team under his stewardship, borne out by the fact he drew nineteen games 1-1 during his reign.
Speaking to The Times, Ross put a different spin on events, claiming far from failing at the club; he steadied a sinking ship and dismissed claims he was negative. He said: ‘Nah, it’s complete fake news,’ before adding: ‘I’d like to think I got more right than I got wrong. We lost ten out of eighty competitive games, we were at Wembley twice, we scored in forty-five out of forty-six league games, and there was one defeat in sixteen months at the Stadium of Light.’
‘We didn’t get promoted. I said, that’s what I came to do. If you want to be as black and white as that, no, I didn’t achieve what I went there to do, but given all the challenges, I can’t say I failed.’
Ross went on to insist he didn’t regret taking the job and gave an insight into some of the challenges he faced. ‘No, I never regret taking the job,’ Ross said. ‘It has made me a much better manager and a much better person. I’m proud of how I felt with things. It was tough, it has hurt me, but I have to deal with loads of things other managers will never have to deal with.’
‘Like watching only ten players walkout for his first day at training, some of them on more money than a League One club’s annual income. Like never having a budget. Like losing his top scorer Josh Maja to Bordeaux in January. Like being told to liaise with potential new owners this summer about who he wanted to sign, new owners who never even took over.’
Since he left the club, Sunderland have lost four of the eight games under his replacement Phil Parkinson and exited the Carabao Cup on penalties at Oxford, adding some perspective to the achievements of Ross.
However, when fans took to social media to react to his comments, plenty dismissed his ‘fake news’ claims suggesting this was not what they saw on the pitch with their own eyes.
Here is a selection of responses to the former manager’s claims on Twitter.
No not fake news. It was fact. I watched it with my own eyes.
— Corneilious71 (@boxing_buddy) November 19, 2019
so all them 1-1draws were the fruits of us playing quick attacking football was it jack… jesus christ.good luck at Hibs though
— Dean Cummings (@Deanospamoni85) November 19, 2019
And this is why the time was right to part ways….
— #JC4PM (@jdksafc87) November 19, 2019
But we were!!
— Barry Butler (@BazzaSAFC) November 19, 2019
So all the 1-1s resulted from our attacking, free flowing football?
— Jon Ridley (@jonridley87) November 19, 2019
I think the Jury will always be out on whether he did or did not do a good job.
— Brian McCullough (@brimacblue) November 18, 2019
Did he not watch any of the games he was in charge of?
— Browny (@ian_brown_jnr) November 19, 2019
I didn’t fail, I just didn’t succeed
— Toon Man US (@us_toon) November 18, 2019
Was this when he was in the pub and everyone was doing shots, and he sat there stirring his green tea ?
— ian Cooper (@CoopsIan) November 19, 2019