Jack Ross reveals why attack is the best form of defence for Sunderland

Jack Ross is certainly a subscriber to the belief that attack is the best form of defence.

As evidenced on plenty of occasions already this season, the Sunderland manager would rather his team went in search of a second goal then clung on to a slender one-goal advantage.

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All the latest news from Sunderland AFC

The former St Mirren boss is happy to throw caution to the wind and introduce forward-thinking substitutes which, on the whole, have worked to great effect this season.

Last weekend's victory over Southend was perhaps the perfect example as, while assistant James Fowler was calling for caution when the Black Cats lead 1-0, Ross threw on further attacking reinforcements in the shape of Aiden McGeady and Josh Maja.

And Ross says he will continue to employ such tactics as the season progresses, with the Scot admitting he isn't particularly comfortable with the Black Cats shutting up shop in late stages.

“We were going to do that [bringing McGeady on] at 1-0, Chrissy scored and people thought he was maybe coming off, he wasn’t,” Ross said.

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“It is an interesting one because I think Fowls [James Fowler] has given up now. He used to have debates with me about substitutions because he would always go the other way in terms of protecting a lead.

“I enjoy playing in a certain way, I’ve never been that comfortable with trying to sit in or shutting up shop.

“I do need to get better at it because you do need to see games out sometimes but generally I try to be positive."

Ross is the first to admit that there may be times where he gets decisions regarding substitutions wrong, but merely sees this as part of his managerial education.

Thus far, however, Sunderland fans can have few groans about the success of their side's substitutions - and Ross revealed that many of these changes are pre-planned and perfectly calculated rather than impulsive decisions.

“In my evolution as a manager, I’ve still not achieved very much but you do learn to back your own judgement," he added.

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“Last year in particular I learned to get better at that, working on the premise that I’m going to get it wrong sometimes. I would rather do it and get it wrong than hum and haw about it."

“People will have their own thoughts on that and I’m going to get it wrong at times.

“Ultimately it will come back to me but it will anyway, if I don’t do it and we don’t get the result.

“I’d rather be bold and I’ve always worked on a plan anyway, quite often at half-time I already have what I’d like to do in place.

“I quite enjoy that side of it."