Sunderland press conference: Jack Ross reveals double injury boost ahead of 'tough' Southend test
Jack Ross faced the press today, with plenty on the agenda ahead of the visit of Southend United on Saturday afternoon.
The Black Cats are riding on the crest of a wave after three away wins on the bounce have extended their unbeaten run to six games.
And Ross provided plenty of updates on the spirit within the camp at his weekly briefing, while also offering the latest on injuries.
Here's everything the Sunderland boss said during the broadcast section of his press conference:
Ross on the Doncaster win…
"I think it just reinforced probably the form the players have shown, not just recently but over the course of the whole season.
"They’ve shown a great deal of character and resilience at different times and different circumstances, but I think it was another example of us dealing with the challenges of this league better.
"When you assess where the opposition were in the table, the season they’ve had to date and the results they’ve had to date in their own stadium, it maybe just highlights how good of a victory it was.
"Rather than it being extra significant because of that, I think it’s a continuation of things the players have done well recently.
"But certainly when you go to a difficult venue against a team that has been in the play-off places and you win, it certainly strengthens the belief that you can continue to produce good results."
Ross on returning to the Stadium of Light...
"We’ve had a number of away fixtures and difficult away fixtures, particularly back-to-back ones as well.
"It’s nice to be back in our own stadium and we’ve spoken often enough about making it a difficult place for teams to come to.
"Obviously we remain unbeaten there, but we all would have liked to have turned some of those draws into wins.
"By and large, the home performances have been good and the home results have been decent as well, and we want to continue that.
"It’s not an easy league to put together a consecutive run of results, not just for us but for any club in the league.
"You can see that, so having started with three consecutive victories away from home we want to continue that on Saturday."
Ross on clean sheets…
"We’re the only team in the league that hasn’t failed to score on any occasion, so because of that we obviously play in a certain manner and look like we always want to create.
"That makes it even more challenging to keep clean sheets because of the way we ask players to play.
"But over the course of the season, I do think our defensive players have been good.
"I don’t think we’ve been cut open on a huge amount of occasions, although we weren’t defending set pieces well enough in the opening seven games.
"But in the seven games after, we’ve looked more and more secure defensively.
"I’m pleased for Jon, the defensive unit and the rest of the team. Particularly for the defensive unit, that have now got that tangible reward in clean sheets which is obviously something that they will pride themselves on.
"We want them to take that enjoyment from getting them and increase the numbers of them that we have. It’s been good that they’ve had that extra bonus from the two wins as well."
Ross on continuing the six-game unbeaten run…
"That’s obviously the aim.
"The belief is strengthening within the group and it’s taken time to adjust to the challenges of League One having the absolute target of winning the league this season. I think we’re all there now, so now we’ve put together this recent run and this record over the course of the season, we don’t want to give up these things lightly.
"We have another challenging fixture on Saturday and just because we’re at home, it doesn’t make the fixture any easier than the ones we have faced in the last three games.
"Southend are a team who are having a good season to date and whose recent form is very good in terms of the last six games. We know it’s a tough match for us.
"Each and every team that has come to the Stadium of Light has produced good performances as well, so to do that again on Saturday means we have to play well to win the game.
"But we’ve got a squad who are in a good place at the moment and excited about playing."
Ross on team news...
"Glenn (Loovens) trained today for the first time, but it’s too early for him to be involved in terms of the game on.
"Josh (Maja) should train tomorrow, unless he has any reaction to the work he’s done today.
"He’ll train tomorrow and be back involved in the squad for Saturday.
"Other than that it’s as we were, with the exception of Bryan (Oviedo) whose suspension is over and will return to the squad."