They came to remember, but also to celebrate... to celebrate what this club became under Vichai ROSS: GIVE ME BLACK CATS’ PROMOTION OVER BIG RUN
JACK ROSS says he would settle for Sunderland not reaching the third round of the FA Cup – but being promoted from the third tier.
That was how it played out in the 1987-88 season, the Black Cats’ only other campaign outside the top two levels of the English game. And promotion, from what was then the Third Division, was achieved at Port Vale – who Sunderland visit this afternoon for a televised first-round tie.
Boss Ross (right), who has steered the Wearsiders to second top in League One, said: “I’d want to progress as far as we can in the competition. But I don’t think there’s anybody associated with the club, or who has a love for the club, who wouldn’t take what we’re talking about. If that was the scenario at the end of the season, I’d have to accept it. “We want to make sure our spell in this league is short-lived and try to begin an upward journey for the club.’’ The Cats, who went up as champions in 1988, are clawing their way back to respectability. And Ross reckons this season, to date, has been ideal preparation for today’s clash in front of the cameras.
He said: “In every away game, the other side have viewed it as a chance to take a big scalp, so it’s been good preparation in that sense.”