Jack Ross reveals changes to Academy of Light lunchtime - and how it benefits Sunderland's youngsters!

Jack Ross has revealed Sunderland's first team squad now pay for their own meals at the Academy of Light training base - and fork out for the Under-18s too!

The Black Cats boss insists there were no complaints when the changes were made following his summer appointment, with the first team also happy to help cover the cost of their younger academy teammates.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

The club has had to cut costs across the board following successive relegations but Ross said he was keen to bring this change in as it was common practice at his previous clubs.

And the first team picking up the tab for the Under-18s is another example of the strong team spirit Ross is looking to develop as the club looks to climb back up the league tables.

The chips may be down following back-to-back relegations but since arriving Ross and his backroom staff have made a conscious effort to boost morale and not lettuce affect the squad moving forward.

Ross, 42, arrived on Wearside from St Mirren in the summer following Stewart Donald's takeover.

The former Alloa Athletic boss, who appeared for Clyde, Hartlepool United, Falkirk and St Mirren during his playing days, was eager to bring in the changes at Sunderland.

When asked whether players now pay for meals and if the first team paid for the youngsters, Ross said: "Certainly the former is true and the second I think it is, as far as I am aware.

"It was a decision the players took on themselves.

"The former is fairly common place at most clubs, certainly has been at the clubs I have worked at - both as a player and as a manager.

"We tweaked that this year [at Sunderland] and there were no complaints, if you eat in a restaurant then you understand why. You get value for money in that sense.

"The players took that on board no problem and the fact they have helped out the younger lads, the U18s with some of that cost, is good.

"Sometimes it is something people don't always see - players aren't all that bad, honestly!"

Sunderland travel to Kenilworth Road on Saturday to face League One promotion rivals Luton Town.

Ahead of the game, the Black Cats - boosted by the loan signing of Max Power - are in good spirits following their opening day 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic at the Stadium of Light.