JACK ROSS admits curiosity will get the better of him following the release of season two of Sunderland til I Die.
The smash hit Netflix series returned to screens on Wednesday, with the focus on the Black Cats’ bid to win promotion back to the Championship during the 2018/19 campaign.
Ross was Sunderland boss at the time and was forced to adjust to having cameras ‘omnipresent’ as he sought to revive a sleeping giant.
He readily acknowledges that he would have preferred not to be shadowed by a film crew during his first season as manager in Wearside but will watch the end results out of interest.
He said: “Will I watch it? I’m sure I will. I think curiosity will probably get the best of me in that respect.
“There were a lot of good times within that season as well so there will be moments I can reminisce as well.
“I know a lot of people will watch it, just like the first season, because it is very well made and the production company are good at their jobs.”
While Ross is one of the stars, the shows places far more spotlight on new owner Stewart Donald, executive director Charlie Methven and the transfer saga surrounding hot prospect Josh Maja, who contentiously left the club for Bordeaux in January of 2019.
Despite onerous financial challenges – spelled out bluntly by Donald and Methven – Ross managed to reach the League One playoff and Checkatrade Trophy finals, succumbing to gut-wrenching defeats on both occasions.
Every kick of the ball is documented as Ross visibly brought a renewed purpose and team spirit to the club, but ultimately failed in his own goal of winning promotion. He was subsequently dismissed in October 2019 before joining Hibs.
He continued: “I read a comment from someone the other day suggesting if we had won the Checkatrade final and won the playoff final then we wouldn’t have complained about cameras being there.
“I was consistent from the first day in my preference that they NOT be there.
“But it was part of the club’s decision to do the second series.
“The people involved in the production of the programme were good people – respectful – but I think, in any line of work, if television cameras are omnipresent then it does lend a different dynamic to things.”
If Sunderland til I Die had been scripted, the club’s two Wembley defeats would have seemed a little on the nose; too unrealistic and dramatic.
They lost the Checkatrade final against Portsmouth on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time. It required a 119th-minute equaliser for the Black Cats to take the game to spot, but Lee Cattermole’s failure from 12 yards proved decisive.
There was even greater heartbreak to come on May 26 when Patrick Bauer’s scrambled winner FOUR MINUTES into stoppage time secured a 2-1 win for Charlton in the League One playoff final.
However, Ross is adamant the constant presence of a camera crew played no part in their failure to get over the line.
He told Clyde 1: “It’s was a different, unique experience, but it wasn’t a factor in us ultimately losing those two games at Wembley.”