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Sunderland boss Jack Ross on out of contract players and whether he’ll make backroom staff changes

John O'Shea.
John O'Shea.

One of the first jobs for new manager Jack Ross is to determine the future of Sunderland’s soon-to-be out of contract players.

There are four senior players coming to the end of their contracts at the Stadium of Light; skipper John O’Shea, fellow defenders Billy Jones and Marc Wilson and forward Kazenga LuaLua.

Their deals will expire at the end of June and as yet they have had no indication whether they have a future on Wearside or not.

Ross admits it will be high on his to-do list when he starts work properly today having been unveiled to the press yesterday afternoon.

Ross said ‘proper discussions’ around shaping the squad, recruitment, who Sunderland will look to move on and those out of contract will start in earnest from today.

When asked if he’d yet had any discussions with the quartet, Ross said: “No, I am trying not to be too bland [with my answers] but they all fall into that same category of really starting to work from today, so it is unfair to probably make any judgement or give any opinion on them or an answer to that question.”

Chris Coleman and Kit Symons were sacked ahead of the final game of the season but the futures of first team coach Robbie Stockdale and goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker remain up in the air.

Ross added: “Again, that falls into the same category. James Fowler, my assistant, is coming with me.

“I need to make a quick assessment, but equally a sensible assessment in terms of a way forward for us on the football side, that is what I can control.”