Josh Maja has said that new Hibs manager Jack Ross’ departure from Sunderland caught him off guard.

The pair worked together during the first half of Ross’ debut Black Cats season. Maja was his talisman before he made the switch to Bordeaux back in January.

Maja worked with Ross at Sunderland (NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Maja still has plenty of admiration for his old boss but is quite shocked he isn’t still at Sunderland.

He told the Sunderland Echo: “I was very surprised and saddened to be honest with you. I’ve seen the good work he’s done with the club and the team, and obviously things weren’t going his way in the last few weeks.

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“That’s part of football, but I guess the people above made the decision and that’s life.”

Maja was helping Ross get Sunderland out of League One

Last term, Maja scored 15 in 24 League One games prior to Christmas. He was the focal point Ross was using to help steer Sunderland towards a Championship return.

It was going so well. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Maja’s departure hindered Ross. He was left without the club’s top scorer and replacement Will Grigg hasn’t really replicated Maja’s form since.

One bad thing led to another for Ross at the Stadium of the Light. It culminated with his sacking, but now he’ll be hoping for success in his new Easter Road venture.

Bordeaux man Maja, however, seems pretty shocked that Ross’ work isn’t continuing at Sunderland.

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