Key Sunderland duo expected to be fit for Millwall test but Kazenga LuaLua set to miss out

Chris Coleman expects Joel Asoro and Ovie Ejaria to be available for selection for the trip to Millwall.

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 9:35 am
Updated Friday, 2nd March 2018, 9:45 am
Sunderland forward Joel Asoro celebrates his goal against Middlesbrough.

Liverpool loanee Ejaria has missed the last three games with a thigh injury but came through a tough training session at the Academy of Light on Thursday.

Asoro, who took a heavy whack on his leg in the closing stages of the 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough last weekend, has only trained once this week but is fit to be included in the squad that travels to the capital.

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Millwall is the first of three Championship games in a week for struggling Sunderland with Aston Villa the visitors to Wearside on Tuesday before another trip to London next weekend to face QPR.

One player that won't be available against Neil Harris' Millwall is forward Kazenga LuaLua, the January signing has trained but isn't quite ready for a return.

Paddy McNair and Marc Wilson are also out with Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter starting his three-game ban after seeing red against Boro.

Coleman said: "Kaz trained yesterday but this weekend will probably be too early for him.

"There’s no Marc Wilson and no Paddy McNair, but Ovie trained and came off fine – he felt it a little bit but came through the tough session – and provided there is no knock-on affect, then that should be okay.

"Joel is okay. He took a whack last week and he has trained once this week.

"We play Saturday -Tuesday - Saturday this week so we may have to be careful with Joel.

"He trained yesterday and got through it, we'll see but I think he should be available."

Follow our live Sunderland AFC blog here:Sunderland have been unable to train at the Academy of Light the past couple of days due to the severe weather conditions so the squad instead decamped to the Stadium of Light, the pitch was cleared of snow for training by club staff, including Coleman and chief executive Martin Bain.

Coleman said: "We had everybody on the pitch, the ground staff were here from 6.30am, the chief executive was with me too, the sports lawyer, secretary, everyone involved clearing the pitch - the people here are unbelievable.

"We all have to get our hands dirty. This is such a great club, a big big club, on a day like that it can work in your favour, when you see that unity and harmony.

"It was a good feeling, the pitch was great and we had a really good training session."

Coleman hopes his players take the same team spirit into their remaining 12 fixtures, with Sunderland bottom of the Championship, five points from safety.

"You will be amazed what you can achieve just by having a go. The squad now is thicker in terms of numbers than it has ever been since I arrived," added Coleman.

"We can only choose 11 so there will be disappointed faces but they all have a huge part to play.

"Now is not the time for people to be thinking about themselves, it is what is the most important thing for the team - how do we get three points?

"We can't afford to think about it any other way."