Mignolet hails Sunderland’s ever-changing defence

Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet

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SIMON Mignolet has hailed Sunderland’s ability to adapt to an ever-changing combination at the back.

Mignolet will be deployed behind yet another changed defence tonight, with centre-half Wes Brown ruled out with a knee injury.

Although the deadline day captures of Wayne Bridge and the unavailable Sotirios Kyrgiakos have boosted Martin O’Neill’s defensive options, Sunderland have never enjoyed the luxury of a settled back four this season.

Michael Turner, expected to replace Brown tonight, John O’Shea, Matt Kilgallon, Titus Bramble and Brown have all been in and out of the side due to injuries.

But Belgian international Mignolet says it is a testament to Sunderland’s work on the training field that only Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City have conceded fewer goals this season than the Wearsiders.

“Last week, everyone was fit again and now we’ve got another couple of injuries,” added the 23-year-old.

“But that’s what you get with a Premier League team with all the tough games you have.

“You have to accept that sometimes you’re going to get injuries and you have to cope with that as a squad.

“All the players are up to it when they come in the team.

“Everybody is ready whether they’re on the bench or in the stands to know that they might play the next game.

“You have to be on your toes and there is enough competition in the squad to be ready for it.”

Sunderland skipper Lee Cattermole is likely to again miss out with a hamstring problem.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy, striker Steve Morison and midfielders Bradley Johnson and Andrew Surman were all rested for Saturday’s FA Cup win at West Brom and will return, along with on-loan Tottenham full-back Kyle Naughton, who was ineligible.