Alex Neil gives a big Sunderland injury update ahead of the play-off final including Nathan Broadhead latest

Alex Neil says he currently has a fully fit Sunderland squad for Saturday’s play-off final at Wembley.

By Phil Smith
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 10:43 am

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Jordan Willis is a long-term absentee but a number of other issues within the squad look to have cleared up.

Carl Winchester has made a surprise return from a groin injury, while Leon Dajaku has been training following a recent illness.

Neil’s comments also suggest that Nathan Broadhead is fit to take his place in the squad, after returning from a muscle injury in the closing minutes of the play-off semi finals against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunderland striker Nathan Broadhead

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"We’ve got a clean bill of health I think for the first time [since I’ve been here],” Neil said.

“People we didn’t expect, who we thought might not be able to make it, [could be available]. People like Winny have been in training.

"So at the moment, we’re looking good.”

Sunderland will we backed by over 46,000 fans when they take on Wycombe Wanderers.

Neil says a decision will be made on Winchester’s involvement after the next two days of sessions.

"I think we’ll have a better idea of exactly where he’s at after today and tomorrow,” he said.

“He’s been on the grass, and he’s done a little bit, but today and tomorrow will have a big bearing on how close he actually is.

“It’s pleasing for Winny as well because he has had a big contribution since I’ve been here to get us to where we are. It’s a good situation.”

On Broadhead, Neil added: "Nathan’s been fine. He had limited time at the weekend (in the second leg) but the difficulty I had there was because of the way we played the game and the shape we adopted, he’s a natural centre-forward and we were only playing with one in the game.

“I thought we were going to hurt them on the flanks because they play with a back three, and down the sides was where we were going to damage them.

“In that respect, to give him more game time, I was going to have to alter how we did things. That’s why his game time was limited.

“But in that respect, it was probably good for him because it’s saved him for going forward into this one.”