Full Sunderland team news as Simon Grayson explains Papy Djilobodji's absence

Djilobodji is not part of Grayson's plans
Djilobodji is not part of Grayson's plans
0
Have your say

Simon Grayson has confirmed that Papy Djilobodji's continued absence from the Sunderland squad is a selection issue, and not due to an injury.

Djilobodji was a regular in the early pre-season programme but has not been part of the squad for the first two competitive games of the season.

John O'Shea's impressive performance at Bury in the first round of the Carabao Cup means that is set to continue at Carrow Road on Sunday.

Grayson said: "He's [Djilobodji] available, we just think that two centre-backs plus John O'Shea are in a better position at this moment in time. He'll play in the U23's tonight and get some game time, its not a fitness thing."

The Black Cats boss added that Lee Cattermole will be fit to play at the weekend.

The midfielder has had treatment on a nose injury picked up in the 5-0 defeat to Celtic, but was set to be rested for the 1-0 at Gigg Lane regardless.

The game could come too soon for Josh Maja, but a number of other players are set to given a chance to stake their claim tonight as the U23's take on Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: "With Maja, we're just looking at his knee and assessing over the next 24/48 hours. Cattermole has done some work this morning, so he's fine for Sunday's game. One or two will be considered for the weekend will get some game time tonight. Oviedo will play, some of the lads who were on the bench last night will get some game time, it's not ideal playing in 48 hours but it is worth getting them some game time.

"It was a close one with Robin [Ruiter] last night but we wanted to keep giving Steele that basis to play off. We also want some competitive action for Robin, it'll be his first 90 minutes in a couple of weeks tonight but that will mean he's ready for the next batch of games.