New Players Please

Sunderland won’t be appealing the red card that Glenn Loovens picked up at Pompey because the player is now injured, so wouldn’t be available to play anyway! Sunderland are also expected to bring in another centre half in the window, which could mean that the ageing Dutchman has played his last game for the club.

Jack Ross said: "Glenn actually injured himself in the challenge anyway so will be out for a couple of weeks. It means it becomes an irrelevance. I had a good conversation with the match officials after the game, after I had spoken to the press, because I had to wait half an hour to see them. We had a sensible conversation and I do think it's one of those that falls into a little bit of a grey area, because the changes to the rule - they're clear in some respects but this challenge probably falls in-between somewhere. I don't think Glenn makes a clean attempt to win the ball, but I don't think he makes a clear attempt to stop them reaching the ball. I can understand why it was given, but I also think the match officials should understand why there might be a case to put forward for it not being a red card. But it's irrelevant. It's given as a red card and we have to play the half with a man short."

However, Ross hopes to see Tom Flanagan back for Bradford on Boxing Day. "Tom has missed the last couple of games, but we're hopeful he might be available. He was in yesterday and should be on the training pitch today, so how he reacts we'll just have to wait and see."

Jack Ross has also admitted that he has a player lined up for January, which ALS believe is a centre half: "I would hope we might have one [new signing] in in the early part of January," said Ross. "There is one that we have been working on and I'm hoping we can bring him in, and if so it would go through near the beginning of the month. Beyond that, it'll probably depend where we are at squad-wise – even with things like George Honeyman's ongoing ankle problem, and things like that. But there is one [new signing] that is a priority for us which we will hopefully be able to get in the early part of the month, or even right at the beginning of the month. I've always had an idea of the areas that I want to strengthen, and the defence is one that I have been consistent with and plans have been in place for that for quite a while. There are another couple [of positions] that I have been thinking more closely about, but I also need to think about our loan players – what I might do with Elliot Embleton [who has been on loan at Grimsby Town] and one or two of the younger ones within the squad, and when we might start to promote them and use them more. So there is the potential to strengthen, but I want to balance that with using some of the younger players."