Sunderland boss Jack Ross has claimed there are only a handful of clubs in the country that can match the Black Cats' travelling support.

Ross' side have endured two catastrophic years, due to back-to-back relegations from the Premier League and then the Championship at the end of last season.

However, new ownership and a host of other changes have helped Sunderland back on the right track, with the club still actively competing in the race for promotion from League One.

Despite being relegated to the third-tier of English football, the supporters on Wearside have backed Sunderland through thick and thin, offering fierce followings both at home and on the road.

The club are set to witness an almost sell-out crowd on Boxing Day against Bradford Cit,y with more than 43,000 tickets sold already at the Stadium of Light.

Ross hailed the supporters by claiming that only a handful of clubs in England can boast of such backing, especially away from home.

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“There's not that many clubs around the country you could manage which attracts that size of fanbase, and then you look at New Year's Day and the numbers that will be travelling [to Blackpool] too”, Ross was quoted as saying by the Northern Echo.

“There's only a handful of clubs that can do that.

“It’s a reminder of the privilege of doing it [the job of Sunderland manager], and it’s a constant reminder of the expectations on my shoulder because of that, but you can’t have the good stuff without the pressure as well.”

Sunderland are poised to witness the biggest attendance recorded in the third tier of English football for almost 40 years when they meet Bradford City later today.