Sunderland boss Jack Ross receives admiration from North East rival after fiery U23 clash

Sunderland manager Jack Ross has received praise from a North East rival after the pair watched an under-23 game together earlier this week.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 12:55 pm

Ross and Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate took in Sunderland under-23s clash with Boro’s under-23s on Monday night at Eppleton CW in Hetton.

The two were pictured together as the youngsters from Teesside came from behind to defeat the junior Black Cats – a side which included new first-team signings Joel Lynch and Laurens De Bock.

Good friends Ross and Woodgate observed the match from the stands and enjoyed a catch-up during the Premier League 2 Division 2 fixture.

Jack Ross and Jonathan Woodgate in the stands at Eppleton CW, Hetton.

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“I was just speaking to him, he was asking how I was finding it. I’m loving it.” said Woodgate when asked about the Sunderland boss.

“I love him as a guy and as a player he was fantastic, what an example and a role model he is to the younger players.

“It was a good chat.”

Striker Benji Kimpioka put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot but the Black Cats were pegged back through two Stephen Walker penalties and a close-range finish from substitute Rumarn Burrell.

Sunderland striker Lee Connelly – who recenlt enjoyed a 28-day youth loan with South Shields – grabbed a late consolation goal eight minutes from time as Middlesbrough recorded a memorable junior Wear-Tees Derby – taking bragging rights back to Teesside. The ending was touched by controversy, however - as an after-the-whistle scuffle broke out between the two sides.