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

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Your Tv Guide - BY CLIVE HET­HER­ING­TON

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.”

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