STEPHANE Sessegnon has praised the impact of double act Jack Colback and Craig Gardner in making light of Sunderland’s injury-hit midfield.
Colback and Gardner have started each of Sunderland’s last four games together in the engine room, with fellow midfielders David Vaughan and Lee Cattermole sidelined.
Vaughan is expected to be out for several more weeks with an ankle problem, while skipper Cattermole has a chance of featuring against Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round clash after returning to training last week.
But Cattermole faces an uphill task to displace either Gardner or Colback, who have provided a solid barrier of protection for the back four.
Sessegnon believes the duo have also played a key role in Sunderland’s return of seven goals from their last four games by ensuring regular service to the front line.
“Jack and Gardner always work very hard for the team and are important for the forward players,” Sessegnon told the Echo.
“Defensively, they have been really good for us in closing down the opposition players and tackling hard.
“But also they are both contributing going forward. They are good passers and are a goal-threat too.
“Jack scored a great goal at Middlesbrough and Craig has got a few for us this season as well.
“They are players who have a lot of spirit and can continue to improve because they have the right mentality to win games.”