There is certainly more pressure on Sunderland than Sheffield United ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fourth round tie.
Over the past three years these two opponents have switched roles. In 2016/17 the Blades were a League One club and the Black Cats played in the Premier League. Now it’s the other way around.
Heading into this cup clash at Bramall Lane, the hosts are buoyed by a 2-0 win at Everton at the weekend. For the visitors they are recovering from a 1-1 draw at bottom-placed Bolton Wanderers.
Chris Wilder is expected to make several changes with one eye likely to be on the home game with Liverpool after this fixture. For opposite number Jack Ross, the pressure is mounting.
Could this result seal Ross’ fate at Sunderland?
The Northern Echo asks whether the Sunderland boss has “reached the point of no return?” There were certainly those among the travelling support at Bolton that seem to think so.
Chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ were aimed at Ross from the away end. Some even joined in with the Trotters supporters when they started a rendition of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning.’
A cup defeat at a top flight side will not define Ross’ season. Yet defeat will still only serve as another stick to beat the 43-year-old with.
It is certainly far removed from how the United faithful feel about Wilder. There are probably few managers currently working in English football with a more overwhelming support from the fanbase.
Yet the situation with Ross does certainly have parallels with what was seen at Goodison Park. Following the Toffees’ defeat, Marco Silva is now the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Silva will be given more time, but there are definitely some stark similarities with Ross.
For the second time in a matter of days, the Blades could mount more unwanted pressure on an opposition boss.