Former Sunderland player Connor Shields has lifted the lid on life under Jack Ross at the Stadium of Light.
We are just a day away from the second season of Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die, with the series set to follow Ross’ Black Cats through their attempts to gain promotion from League One. It follows directly on from the first season, which revealed all on the club’s catastrophic season in the Championship.
Shields never featured for the first-team on Wearside, making eight appearances for the Under-23s before departing on loan to Alloa Athletic and eventually permanently to Aldershot Town.
However, he was present for the filming of the first season of the show and knew Ross well enough to offer some insight into the club’s failings and the manager’s time there.
“When I was there Jack Ross was brilliant with me and got to that final. It maybe didn’t work out for him in the end, but when he left it wasn’t like Sunderland picked out right away,” he said, as reported by The Daily Record.
“They went on a run before the season stopped but it’s not been easy. With the first team there was the hostile stuff; with the relegation and the wages – but these things are probably happening everywhere.
“They are massive club and brilliant support so really should be playing at a higher level.”
Shields added that he enjoyed his time at the club and it is clear he is a huge fan of Ross, claiming the now Hibs manager “brought something different”.
The fans turned on the 43 year-old pretty promptly when things went sour, but Shields’ comments about the “hostile” first-team lead you to believe there was a lot going on behind the scenes for which Ross may not have been accountable, and perhaps we’ll see exactly who was really to blame when the new series comes out this Wednesday.