Jack Ross’ squad will be boosted this week with Lynden Gooch and Ethan Robson returning from injury.
In other news, Reece James is looking for a run in the team in the absence of Bryan Oviedo and Denver Hume. “When I came to the club I knew it was going to be tough with competition for places, especially with Bryan and Denver because they’re both top players. But that’s what you want at a club like Sunderland, you want competition and that’s what it’s all about. It’s just nice to get an opportunity now and hopefully I can try and build a bit of momentum with each game to try and stay in the team. I’m very determined to take the opportunity. I want to do as well as I can for both the club and myself. I have to take this opportunity now with each game. I learn from Bryan everyday, and you learn from each other. You might see certain things he does in training and you might think ‘I can take that into my game’. He’s someone we all can learn from. I picked his brain when I first came here just asking what the World Cup in the summer was like. It’s unbelievable to have players like that, and Lee Cattermole and Aiden McGeady who were unbelievable Premier League players who shouldn’t be at this level. But it’s great for somebody like me to play alongside them. Jack told me to just go out there and show what I can do. He said to me that there’s an opportunity now to stay in the team and it’s up to me if I take that chance. Hopefully I can do that in the next few games. [Great squad strength] is what you need, especially when you’re aiming to be title winners. You’ve got to have competition for places so that if someone is not quite on it, you’ve got someone there ready to step right in and takeover. We’ve done that in various positions already this season - midfield, centre-half, left-back, so right across the pitch we’ve got a lot of good options. That’s what the gaffer has done here, he’s built a very strong squad.”