Sunderland boss Jack Ross has admitted that he found choosing the Black Cats over Ipswich Town or St Mirren a “difficult decision”, according to BBC Sport.
Under two years at the helm of the Buddies saw Ross become an attractive proposition, with many clubs vying for his expertise. But ultimately, the former Hartlepool United and Hamilton Academical defender was left with three options: lead St Mirren upon their return to the Scottish Premiership; move to Ipswich Town; drop down to Sky Bet League One side Sunderland.
With Sunderland having been in the Premier League two seasons ago, Ross admitted that the Black Cats’ misfortune was something which stood out to him.
“It was the sheer potential of this job that was really attractive,” he said. “To drop to [Sky Bet] League One as opposed to testing myself in the [Sky Bet] Championship was something I had to consider.
“But there is probably no glass ceiling in this job in terms of where it can possibly go in the future.”
Ross had taken over at St Mirren when they were bottom of Scotland’s second tier. Fast forward 18 months and the 42-year-old had led them to relegation safety and, the following season, to the League title.
So it was always going to be difficult for Ross to depart a Club he had rescued and also used to play for.
“It was a really difficult decision for me to leave St Mirren because I was really happy in the job and I was really excited about the challenge of managing them in the Scottish Premiership.
“It wasn’t as straightforward and simple as some people might have thought to leave.
“There was a huge pull for me to stay at the club and try to finish the job that I started.”