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, 1:55 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.

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

“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.