JACK ROSS is desperate for Sunderland to prove they can overcome any disappointment in double quick time and not allow old wounds to resurface.

The Black Cats have trained well, according to the manager, this week and are looking to bounce back in style after suffering a first defeat of the League One season last week at Burton.

Sunderland will face Rochdale at the Stadium of Light this afternoon and there is a desire to make sure there is no lingering fall-out from the Pirelli Stadium reversal.

Ross, whose side have also failed to win their last two home games, said: “The reaction has been good I believe because of a consistency in the behaviour of the staff.

“However, there are aspects we need to change. The players are responsive of what we give them but they are self-aware and understand why they didn’t play quite so well. I have not witnessed any worrying aspects this week.

“We don’t want to slip into the mindset of having negativity around the club because we have worked incredibly hard to address that. It will happen at some point and it’s the reaction we need to see to that.

“It’s natural when you have had a couple of disappointing seasons, everyone associated with the club feels it, momentum can shift either way very quickly. It’s not about downplaying how sore a defeat feels, you can’t allow it to mask some of the good work that has been going on.

“We are still a work in progress. At the start of the season we started as well as we could have imagined after everything, that can accelerate expectations very quickly. I wouldn’t have wanted to lose Saturday but we have and it has reminded us of what we need to do.”

And Ross expects, knowing Rochdale will be out to make an impact – like Fleetwood and Oxford were before that.

He said: “You learn more about your players, I have not seen them suffer a competitive defeat, so you learn more how they respond to it. Now the acid test is to see how they respond on a match day.

“I’ve enormous respect for what Kevin Hill has done at Rochdale gaining promotion and establishing themselves in this league. I have said previously that we do face challenges on a weekly basis.

“You can see the number of supporters’ teams are bringing, they have cup final feels about them. That is one of the challenges we are faced with. It will be another difficult game for us."