Jack Ross on Ethan Robson and Sunderland's midfield options
Jack Ross says Ethan Robson should return to action soon, and he has high hopes for 21-year-old this season.
The 21-year-old missed the 6-0 win over St Mirren after picking up an injury at Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.
However, Ross is hopeful that he will be fit in time for the new season and is excited by the competition he will add to Sunderland's midfield.
Ross said: "It's a 1-3 week injury but looking at his previous injury history, he heals quickly.
"I don't know whether Middlesbrough will come too quickly for him but he shouldn't be too much longer. He's been good in pre-season, I like him and he's responded really well.
"It'll be good to have him back because other than the three midfielders that played today, we don't have a lot.
"We need that depth and him coming back will provide us with that."
Sunderland's midfield trio of Dylan McGeouch, George Honeyman and Lee Cattermole impressed on Saturday afternoon but there are doubts over Cattermole's long-term future.
Ross also has youngsters Bali Mumba and Elliot Embleton to call upon, with Embleton currently on international duty.
The Black Cats are hopeful of completing a deal for Reading midfielder George Evans, and Ross says that central midfield is not a priority in the transfer market.
He had been linked in Scotland with a swoop for Rangers youngster George Docherty.