We turn our focus to Sunderland, one of seven newcomers to Sky Bet League One for the 2018/19 season, as we build up to fixture release day.
Founded | 1879
Stadium | Stadium Of Light
Nickname | The Black Cats
Ross was appointed manager of Sunderland towards the end of May, following a successful spell in charge of St Mirren in Scotland.
He guided The Buddies to promotion to the Scottish Premiership last season, after steering them to safety in the Championship the previous campaign.
It was his second managerial job after eight months in charge of Alloa Athletic, following coaching roles at Dumbarton and Hearts.
Name | Stadium Of Light
Capacity | 49,000
Year Opened | 1997
Address | Stadium Of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU
Distance From Crown Oil Arena | 130 miles
2017/18 Season Review
Position | 24th (Sky Bet Championship)
Average Attendance | 27,635
Top Scorer | Lewis Grabban – 12
Sunderland suffered back-to-back relegations, finishing bottom of the Championship as they won just seven league games.
Simon Grayson was sacked after just one win from the opening 15 games, with former Wales manager Chris Coleman appointed as his replacement.
However, he couldn’t prevent their slide into the third tier of English football, where they have previously spent just one season in their 139 history.
A Previous Meeting
Rochdale 1-1 Sunderland (Dale win 4-2 on pens) | 6th September 2016
Dale’s first fixture in the revamped EFL Trophy came at home to Sunderland Under-23s, with a penalty shootout victory claiming the extra bonus point for Keith Hill’s men.
Elliot Embleton had given the Black Cats the lead, before Ian Henderson levelled six minutes later.
The visitors missed two penalties in the shootout, allowing Sanmi Odelusi to slot home the winner.