Jack Ross is ‘looking forward’ to Tuesday night’s derby against Newcastle United.

Whilst not surprisingly Newcastle fans find the whole thing hilarious, everybody associated with Sunderland finds it acutely embarrassing that they have a first team match against their local rivals’ kids.

The Checkatrade draw was one that no Mackem wanted and Sunderland were quick to break the competition’s rules, giving Newcastle fans only 2,800 tickets rather than the minimum 4,900 they should have been entitled to.

Jack Ross has met the media on Monday afternoon for his Checkatrade press conference and the Sunderland boss says that he ‘dreams’ of one day being in the same division as Newcastle United.

Ross admitting that Tuesday night’s match is ‘far from ideal’ for Sunderland.

Whilst accepting that it is a derby match of sorts, he claims it isn’t ‘the derby…that everybody would want it to be.’

For Newcastle fans, this is a ‘derby’ match where it isn’t possible to lose.

If the Under 21s beat the Mackems it will be hugely embarrassing for Sunderland, whereas those on Wearside can hardly claim it is any kind of a ‘victory’ if they beat a bunch of Under 21s from Newcastle.

Extra dedicated Metros have been laid on for the Newcastle fans travelling to the game, whilst the club’s NUFC TV are showing the game online for an extortionate £10, a price which they say the EFL told them they have to charge punters to watch this Checkatrade Trophy match.

Jack Ross:

“It (Sunderland’s first team playing Newcastle Under 21s) s a very unusual set of circumstances.

“If I’m honest, it’s far from ideal.

“I mean because we are involved in this competition as a first team, due to what has happened (consecutive relegations bottom of the table) in the last couple of years.

“One of the ambitions, goals or targets for me coming here as manager, is to lead this club into a derby match (against Newcastle’s first team), hopefully at the top level.

“This is not what tomorrow night is.

“It is a Checkatrade trophy match and that’s really how we’re looking at it.

“Our preparations have been the same, our approach to the game will be the same, as it has been when it was Stoke Under 21s or whether it was Morecambe, Carlisle or Notts County, or whoever it was.

“It (not having derbies in the league) is a disappointment for us because that’s a consequence of us having suffered relegations.

“Newcastle have retained their place in the top league in that period and so, that’s when the disappointment or soreness of that becomes more acute, when a fixture like this comes around.

“The drive for me is to take the club back to playing in these fixtures.

“I mean that in the most respectful manner because this isn’t the derby or a derby that is seen as the one that everybody would want it to be.

“It just gives us the extra motivation to make sure that, hopefully in future, I get the chance to manage a Sunderland team in this derby and it’s done on a league footing and we both find ourselves, ideally in the top league.”



  • Paul Patterson

    The way our owner runs us, he’ll get his wish in 18 months at best..

    • Alex

      It’s only 8 months until August, Paul.

      • Paul Patterson

        I was pinning hopes on us surviving this season.

        • Billmag

          I admire your optimism Paul.

        • Alex

          You old optimist, you! ;-)

        • MadMag83

          If Sunderland stay where they are, it will be 18 months before we join them in league 1

  • Tommy

    Next season is a distinct possibility.

    • Big Hairy Man

      And with Mark Hughes or Tony Pulis in charge of a paper thin, underfunded squad I fear the worst.

      • MadMag83

        But at least under Hughes, we’ll be playing the “attacking football” the happy clappers want, albeit on our way to the conference north.

      • Viru leckworth

        Or David Icke.

  • magpiefifer

    Next season is looking a good bet!!

  • Leazes.

    I dream of us getting back into the same league as Arsenal Tottenham and Liverpool……the second division of the Premiership is cannon fodder…..that isn’t ambition!

    • Leicester Mag

      We are not even competing with the cannon fodder

  • graham18

    it’s just a matter of time the way the FCB is going

  • DeadToiler

    Not long to wait then Jack

  • Viru leckworth

    Sunderland supporters are happier than we are now, because they’ve had a clear out. Even though they are in the third division. If we plummet to those depths, can anyone see the Ashley creature still at the reins?

  • Carl Marks

    WTF!!!
    He wants to end up in the National League