Sunderland and manager Tony Mowbray have suffered a new injury blow to a “key player” ahead of this evening’s Championship clash with Watford.
What’s the latest Sunderland injury news?
The Black Cats have been in fine form of late, winning four of their last five to climb up into the Championship playoff places. A comfortable 3-0 victory last time out against Sheffield Wednesday was the latest positive display, with a home meeting with the Hornets next on the agenda.
However, it isn’t all good news out of The Stadium of Light, though, with a new injury concern coming to light. Reliable Sunderland reporter Scott Wilson of The Northern Echo shared an injury update ahead of the meeting with Watford following Mowbray’s pre-match press conference.
It was stated that Aji Alese, Dennis Cirkin, Bradley Dack and Pierre Ekwah, players currently sidelined, will remain out of the next two games prior to the international break, whereas Mowbray has had to change his team up for tonight’s meeting due to a new injury blow to a ‘key player’.
“Without telling you everything, we’ve had to do some tactical changes today. You’ll see the team when it comes out, but there’s a big difference with the injury that’s been picked up.
“That’s meant we’ve had to move the team around to make it work. We’ve had to do that to make sure we have enough people attacking and enough people defending. Otherwise, you have players moving too much in and out of possession and the balance of the team isn’t right. There’s lots of tactical stuff we’ve had to, but this group embrace that. It’s good that they want to learn.
“The challenges are always there. We have picked up an injury to a pretty key player in the way we play, but let’s just push on and see if we can keep the fluency of the team going.”
Who have been Sunderland’s best players this season?
A number of Sunderland players have impressed so far this season, with five of the squad averaging a WhoScored match rating greater than 7/10. Two of those are Dack and Ekwah, both injured, but the club’s standout performer so far has been winger Jack Clarke. The 22-year-old has scored seven goals in nine Championship games, averaging a 7.79 match rating. He is actually ranked as the top Championship player by WhoScored, whereas Dan Neil and Dan Ballard are also ranked over 7/10.
Therefore, Sunderland supporters will be hoping that the injury isn’t to Clarke, Neil or Ballard, as they have been key to the club’s success in the early stages of the season. Mowbray clearly wants to keep the update quiet for now, so it’ll be interesting to see the team news later tonight. After the meeting with Watford, Sunderland then host Middlesbrough before the international break, where on the other side, Mowbray will hopefully have a number of players back.