Jack Ross believes midweek Blackpool game could be start of a 'defining' week for his Sunderland side

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Jack Ross believes Tuesday night’s rearranged game against Blackpool could be the start of a “defining” week for his promotion-chasing Sunderland side.

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Jack Ross at Bloomfield Road for Sunderland's 1-0 win on New Year's Day

Jack Ross at Bloomfield Road for Sunderland's 1-0 win on New Year's Day

The Black Cats currently sit in fourth place in the League One table but dropped points at the weekend, conceding late on to draw 1-1 at Oxford United.

Sunderland, who are five points off second place Barnsley with two games in hand, will be looking to claw back some points with three home games in the space of eight days.

First up for the North East outfit is Terry McPhillips’ Blackpool, who go into Tuesday night’s game brimming with confidence from their 2-0 win against Walsall which extended their unbeaten run to five.

“It’s a huge week for us, starting on Tuesday, a game on Friday and then Tuesday again,” Ross said.

“I’m always keen to keep an air of positivity around the players but the players and staff know this week is huge for us in terms of our season. It won’t ultimately define it but it will play a significant part.

“The good thing is we have three home games but we have to go into each one of them with the mentality of wanting to push, push and push to win the game. We’ve got to do that.

“That’s the target we’re setting them, that’s the target they’ll have in their minds the minute they step back into work.

“If we manage to do it then we’ll come out of those seven days in a decent position. If we don’t, we’re going to have to take a bit of criticism our way and dust ourselves down and keep pushing on.

“But I’m looking forward to the week because it’s a challenge. I’ve got big players in there and big personalities who should want to take this on.

“The way they’re feeling now they probably thinking Tuesday night can’t come quickly enough because of the way the game finished at Oxford.

“I’m sure by the time Tuesday night comes around the players who are involved will be raring to go.”