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Ross taking inspiration from Roman leaders in Sunderland’s promotion bid

Sunderland boss Jack Ross has been studying Roman generals in a bid to give his Black Cat gladiators the edge in Sunday’s League One play-off final against Charlton.

A self-confessed scholar of leadership, Ross is convinced there are lessons to be learned from the way some of history’s great rulers led their armies into battle and left as little as possible to chance.

His side are preparing to return to Wembley for the second time this season to take on the Addicks as they bid to book their return to the Championship at the first attempt.

Ross said: “I am fascinated by leadership and I have been for a number of years.

“I look back back to some of the Roman generals and how they studied Alexander The Great.

“Even people like that did tactics and preparation but they still made sacrifices to the Gods before it – which probably shows that you can prepare as much as you want but ultimately there’s a bit of fate involved.”

While Alexander The Great amassed an empire stretching from Greece to India, Ross’s slightly more modest concern is whether Aiden McGeady will have recovered from the foot injury he sustained prior to the semi-final first leg win over Portsmouth.

Ross added: “He’s had the chance of a two-week break and he’s been building up his workload as the week goes on.

“He has a chance of being involved in the team. We’ll give him every chance because over the course of the season he’s been a hugely inspirational player for us.”