Sunderland boss Chris Coleman hoping for double fitness boost ahead of Preston clash

Paddy McNair and Kazenga LuaLua are both in contention to return to the Sunderland squad for the visit of Preston North End.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 9:27 am
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 9:30 am
Kazenga LuaLua shoots at goal in the defeat to Birmingham City.

Sunderland host Preston at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship, with just nine games left for bottom of the table Sunderland to avoid relegation.

Coleman revealed McNair, who has been struggling with groin problems since returning from a serious knee injury, has been involved in a session this week and was due to train again on Friday at the Academy of Light.

Provided there is no reaction he could return to the squad, along with January signing Kazenga LuaLua, who is yet to start for the club following an ankle injury.

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Coleman also revealed skipper John O'Shea hasn't trained all week due to a thigh problem but he was due to train today, with the Sunderland boss sweating on his involvement.

Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter is back after serving a three-game ban.

"John O'Shea hasn't trained all week but he will train today," said Coleman.

"Marc Wilson has trained this week but he won't be available., this weekend will be too early for him.

"Darron Gibson has had a couple of sessions, he is still two weeks away before we can start thinking about him having any kind of game time.

"Jake is back. Jonny [Williams] you know will be three weeks out, we think."

Coleman added: "Kazenga has trained twice and looked sharp, he looked okay to be fair.

"Paddy McNair has had one proper session and he could be in contention tomorrow but let's see how he gets through today.

"Provided there is no reaction and there shouldn't be."

With Sunderland five points from safety, Coleman was asked whether it had reached the point where he might have to take the odd risk with some players.

Coleman added: "I think so yes but obviously it has to be a calculated one.

"We are running out of time and games, it is needs must and the lads know that.

"The circumstances were you wouldn't take a risk, we are at a stage where we might have to, it is as simple as that to make sure we get over the line."