Following the release of Football Manager 2019 today, our Twitter admin pits their wits against the start Jack Ross has made to the 2018-19 Sky Bet League One season.
SAFC Admin - PRE-SEASON
SAFC Admin faced a slightly easier pre-season to the boss. With Ross having done his wheeling and dealing, the SAFC Admin weren’t able to bolster their ranks as they went into the Sky Bet League One season with the same squad.
Jack Ross - PRE-SEASON
The Scot joined Sunderland from St Mirren and was immediately presented with a seismic task. As new chairman Stewart Donald settled into office, Ross and the club’s recruitment team helped him deliver a major overhaul as he brought in 12 new faces to reshape his squad.
SAFC Admin - AUGUST
SAFC Admin were rampant from the off, securing an unbeaten opening month. A 3-0 win at home to Charlton saw the Lads go top before a 3-1 win on the road saw us overcome Luton Town. That was then followed by a draw against Scunthorpe United before successive 1-0 victories against Gillingham and Wimbledon saw us end the month top. SAFC Admin also received the Manager of the Month accolade. There was, however, some bad news as Chris Maguire picked up a knee injury which saw him ruled out for three months.
League place: 1st
Jack Ross - AUGUST
Like SAFC Admin, Ross’ Sunderland begun the season with a win as goals from Josh Maja and a stoppage-time winner from Lynden Gooch secured the win against Charlton. Maja was among the goals in each of the Black Cats’ first four matches as they drew against Luton Town before dismantling Scunthorpe United 4-1 in their third league match. The Lads’ Carabao Cup venture ended after just 90 minutes as Sheffield Wednesday overcame them on Wearside, but on the road the Lads continued their surge as they saw off Gillingham and Wimbledon to round off August.
League place: 2nd
SAFC Admin - SEPTEMBER
The unbeaten run continued into September, picking up four wins from six as SAFC Admin dropped points at Burton Albion and Coventry City. Josh Maja was hot among the goals, adding to the three he chalked up in August with another five as the Lads secured clean sheets against Rochdale in the league and Walsall in the Checkatrade Trophy.
League place: 1st
Jack Ross - SEPTEMBER
Successive draws to Oxford United and Fleetwood Town cooled the Lads’ bright start before they suffered their first defeat of the season away at Burton Albion, as Charlie Wyke – who scored on his defeat against Oxford – suffered a reoccurrence of his knee injury. But Ross’ Sunderland returned to winning ways the following week as they brushed aside Rochdale 4-1 at the Stadium of Light before Coventry secured a share of the spoils at the Ricoh to round off September.
League place: 4th
SAFC Admin - OCTOBER
SAFC Admin’s 11-game unbeaten started can to a shuddering halt at Bradford City after we had seen off Peterborough United 3-0 earlier in the week. The only other match we dropped points in was our home match against Southend United as we drew 3-3 while Jack Ross managed a 3-0-win last Saturday.
League place: 1st
Jack Ross - OCTOBER
The Lads faced a quick turnaround from the Ricoh as they entertained Steve Evan’s Peterborough on October 2. After leading through Maja’s eighth goal of the season, the Posh fought back as the Lads were reduced to 10 men following Bryan Oviedo’s red card. Jerome Sinclair then restored the advantage, but Ivan Toney ensured the points were split. From there, though, Sunderland ploughed on in October as they secured five straight wins in all competitions to close the gap at the top to three points.
League place: 3rd