Sunderland boss on fitness of key trio after fiery Middlesbrough draw

Chris Coleman is anxiously hoping for positive injury news this week after Paddy McNair left the field with a groin injury against Middlesbrough.
Coleman is encouraged by the return of Jonny WilliamsColeman is encouraged by the return of Jonny Williams
Coleman is encouraged by the return of Jonny Williams

McNair has impressed since returning to action during the week and has added some much needed height and physicality to the Sunderland midfield.

Coleman did get some positive news on Saturday with Jonny Williams stepping up his comeback.

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The Welsh midfielder replaced McNair and delivered an excellent display, capped with a second half goal.

Coleman said: "A fit Jonny Williams, a fit Paddy McNair are good players at this level.

"What Jonny does well is he gets those free-kicks on the edge of the box. I think that’s where he probably gets a lot of injuries, he almost entices a challenge and a tackle. But he gets you up the pitch and into the little pockets. His minutes will help him physically but Paddy is one I’m worried about.

"It was great to see him on Tuesday get through 90 minutes. When you’ve been out a long, long time like he has, it sometimes happens, you come back, stop, start, but for us we can’t afford that. We need him fit because he definitely gives us a little bit more when he’s on the pitch."

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Coleman is also hoping that Joel Asoro will suffer no ill-effects after a niggle picked up late in the 3-3 draw.

Asoro was left writhing in agony after a collision, by which point Coleman had already made three substitutions.

Coleman said: "He got a whack, somebody went through him right by me, right at the end. He needed to come off, he had a right whack on his knee. He got through it but he was in pieces after the game. It was right after I made that substitution.

"Touch wood he is OK. He is on the treatment table now. He is only 19 so for me to say we can’t afford to lose him is pretty brutal but that’s where we are."

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Asoro somewhat allayed fears of a serious injury in his post-match press duties but his situation will be monitored.