Sunderland AFC news and transfers RECAP – Injury latest; Ross on promotion race – ChronicleLive

Sunderland AFC news and transfers RECAP - Injury latest; Ross on promotion race - ChronicleLive

Sunderland receive defensive boost as Jack Ross provides injury update ahead of Walsall clash

George Honeyman was also withdrawn at Adams Park with concussion and will serve the second game of his two-game suspension when Sunderland host Walsall this weekend.

The trio have all returned to training though, meaning Flanagan and James could be in contention to face The Saddlers at the Stadium of Light.

Barnsley will be ready for challenge from Doncaster Rovers says Daniel Stendel

“No nothing new,” said Ross when asked if his squad had picked up any fresh injuries following the midweek fixture.

“We had a number unavailable (against Barnsley), weve since had Tom Flanagan, Reece and George join back in training.

“Obviously George continues to be ruled out with suspension but weve got Reece and Tom back fit and training.”

Sunderland fought tooth and nail for a 0-0 draw at Barnsley on Tuesday, where three points would have taken them just a point behind the second-placed Tykes.

Flanagan and James will both face competition to get back in the side though, after the Black Cats kept their eleventh clean sheet of the season in the League One at Oakwell.

Plenty of fans were frustrated with the goalless draw at Oakwell, but there are lots of reasons to be optimistic despite the relatively dull game.

Jack Baldwin impressed at centre-half against the Tykes while Adam Matthews deputised at left-back in James absence.

It may be an overused cliché, but it was more important to not lose Tuesdays clash than to win it, considering the circumstances.

Barnsley were the first side to stop Sunderland scoring in the league this season, yet Ross wasnt concerned by result.

“Its sometimes a reflection at how things are looked at here, it was almost taken for granted and then when we fail to score it becomes a big deal.

A wind-ravaged stalemate at Oakwell saw the Reds maintain their four-point advantage over the third-placed visitors, who have a game in hand.

Barnsley can put further pressure on Sunderland by claiming a derby victory in Fridays televised game at Doncaster Rovers with the Black Cats welcoming Walsall the following day.

Stendel, whose side extended their unbeaten league home record under his watch to 19 games – equalling a post-war record of 23 league matches without defeat at Oakwell in the 0-0 draw – said: I think the draw helps us more than Sunderland.

I am not sure that (leaders) Luton will win all their games, but we have our chances. While we keep the gap to a minimum we have all the chances to be promoted directly. That is the goal.

Stendels counterpart Jack Ross also derived satisfaction from his side extending their own unbeaten sequence to 18 matches.

Sunderland and Barnsley are yet to sample a league loss in 2019, alongside Luton whose last league defeat was 3-2 at Oakwell in mid-October.

Luton hold a five-point advantage over Barnsley and a nine-point lead over Sunderland, but Ross still believes that anything canhappen between now and the end of the season.

We have kept ourselves in it and are there or thereabouts and there are a lot of games to go and lots of points to play for from now on in.

I said before the game that the three teams at the top of this league have had unbelievable seasons in what they have achieved and to come to a club who had not lost at home was not easy – far from it.

Attention switches to Barnsleys short trip to the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow evening and despite the relatively quick turnaround, Stendel insists that his side will be ready for the challenge – and firmly focused on ending a keynote week with an important win.

He added: It is a derby and the first game at Oakwell was a difficult one. Doncaster played very well and we know it.

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