Alex Neil explains why Leon Dajaku missed Sunderland's Carabao Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday
Leon Dajaku has picked up a thigh injury but Sunderland boss Alex Neil hopes he will back available for selection in the near future.
Dajaku was one of the Sunderland players who had been expected to feature against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, but the German sustained an injury in his first appearance of the season at Ashton Gate last Saturday.
Sunderland fell to a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, with Neil identifying players playing in unfamilar roles as a primary problem.
Dajaku’s absence underlined a lack of depth in some key areas.
“I brought Leon on at Bristol City and unfortunately he's tweaked his thigh,” Neil said.
“He's another one who there tonight, I could have put up top or maybe left wing-back because he's played those roles before.
“I think it's a minor injury, which is frustrating.
“He came on for Ellis at the weekend because we've got two centre forwards, and Leon played there against Roma in Portugal so he knows what we need for that job.”
Neil said the defeat did not change his view that more additions were needed in the transfer market before the window shuts at the end of this month, but insisted that he would not overreact to Tuesday night’s defeat.
It was the head coach’s first competitive away defeat since taking charge in February, but after changing all eleven of his players he felt a disjointed performance was not a major surprise.
Neil has previously said he wants another four or five additions to complete his squad.
“I'm not saying it as a reaction to this evening,” Neil said.
“Every press conference for the past month I've said the exact same thing, so I've not changed my stance on that.
“We need to strengthen the squad. It gives me the best chance of winning games, and it then means if I lose some key players, there are other guys who can step in.
“Some of the guys who played tonight will have a massive bearing on how the rest of our season goes, so I'm not going to judge them too harshly on tonight.”