SUNDERLAND will not take any risks with injuries in Sunday’s final game against Swansea.
The Black Cats secured their Premier League status with a 2-0 win against West Brom on Wednesday night and can enter into the party spirit for the season finale this weekend.
But the efforts of a remarkable escape from the jaws of relegation have taken their toll on the players, with the likes of Lee Cattermole and Seb Larsson both carrying injuries.
And that will lead head coach Gus Poyet to ensure those who take to the field against the Swans are not vulnerable to picking up further knocks.
“They’ve put themselves through hell and back to get stay in the Premiership,” first-team coach Charlie Oatway said today.
“So what we’re very conscious of is to make sure they don’t have a summer in the treatment room.
“We need to make sure the doctor gives us the information to say who is borderline on breaking down.
“They deserve to have a good summer with their families and emptying their minds of relegation.
“The team that goes out there will be a fit team to play.”
Oatway believes the feat of beating the drop, after Sunderland were seven points adrift of safety with just six games to go, will be something the players cherish for the remainder of their lives.
“They’ll look back - your careers are so short - and think about these games and staying up, going to the cup final and beating Newcastle twice,” added Oatway.
“We could finish 12th now.
“It’s been fantastic and I’m sure there’ll remember this all their lives, because I certainly will as a coach.”
* Don’t miss tomorrow’s online Football Echo – the final edition of the season. It’s available on sunderlandecho.com from around 6.45pm