Six of The Best

Sunderland finally shown some sexy pre-season form by beating St Mirren 6-0 with goals from Josh Maja, Lynden Gooch, George Honeyman and Luke Molyneux. Jack Ross had this to say afterwards: “We’ve progressed with every game we’ve played, the calibre of the opposition has improved, and so have the results so I’m pleased about that. After all that the club has been through, we need to get that winning habit back - even in pre-season - and the last couple of games is a start. There was a lot I was pleased with today and there were some good performances, and I was happy to see Josh and Lynden get a couple of goals, and George and Luke one apiece.”

New boy Glenn Loovens didn’t feature v St Mirren as he only flew back from holiday in Italy to join the club yesterday. Ross added: “The deal only went through at teatime yesterday, so it was a logical decision not to bring him up to play today. He trained this morning and he’s in good condition anyway. He brings qualities that we haven’t got in the squad, and he also allows us to strengthen in an important area of the pitch.”

In injury news, Ethan Robson’s groin injury meant he missed out at St Mirren. “We’re looking at 1-3 weeks, but looking at his previous history he heals quickly,” said Jack Ross. “I don’t know whether Middlesbrough will be too early for him, but I don’t think he will be too much longer. He’s been good in pre-season, I like him and I’ve been really encouraged by him. It'll be good to have him back because other than the three midfielders that played today, we don't have a lot. We need that depth and him coming back will provide us with that."

Ross also gave a transfer update, but ultimately Mohamed Eisa is going to Bristol City, George Evans should join Monday and Charlie Wyke is injured. Ross said: “In the case of Evans, I think that’s OK between the clubs and it’s now down to the player. Wyke is ongoing, but he is injured at the moment anyway. On Eisa, I don’t think there is any agreement between the clubs. None of those are likely to happen in the next few hours I don’t think – but who knows! That’s not to say I’m not kept up to date, but things can change quickly. I would think that new players will arrive before the Middlesbrough game, but I have probably thought that before. It’s amazing how time runs away from you, especially because time passes quickly when you are working on the training field. I’d be very hopeful that we will have some reinforcements in, I’m just very conscious that we get the right ones in. We could probably have signed bodies before now, but we’d have been doing it for the sake of it. I need to make sure we get the right ones to add to this group because this is going to be an important season for us, but hopefully we will have more reinforcements before the Boro game.”