Simon Grayson is unlikely to make a raft of changes for the Carabao Cup tie against Bury, but Robbin Ruiter will be in contention for a competitive debut.
A demanding schedule will necessitate some rotation but the Black Cats boss is eager to continue building partnerships throughout his side.
He said: “He’ll [Ruiter] be in the squad. We’ve got to try to give him some time.
“But some players need more game time, because you need to get some continuity and build partnerships.
“I know if I put Robbin in on Thursday he won’t let us down, but I could keep Jason in to help the consistency of team selection and developing understandings with people.
“A lot of the new players haven’t played much football in the last few weeks because they have been coming from clubs where they’ve not been required.”
Grayson also revealed that Bryan Oviedo is closing in on a return to fitness.
The Costa Rican international could make his comeback at Hetton on Friday night, where the U23 side kick off their campaign against Spurs.
He said: “We had a couple of knocks on Saturday morning but everyone has trained today.
“Oviedo has trained with us but Thursday might be too early for him, he might get some game time for the U23s against Tottenham.
“Rodwell has trained, Maja hasn’t and he is about the only one who is out injured now.”