Gus Poyet calm over Sunderland warm-up curse

Emanuele Giaccherini in action for Sunderland against Hull City. Picture by FRANK REID
Emanuele Giaccherini in action for Sunderland against Hull City. Picture by FRANK REID
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EMANUELE Giaccherini became the latest Sunderland player to suffer the curse of the warm-up at Swansea City.

Giaccherini had been a doubt to feature at the Liberty Stadium following a heavy challenge in the closing stages at Fulham four days earlier, but he was named among Sunderland’s substitutes after coming through a light training session unscathed in the morning.

But Giaccherini was forced to pull out after the warm-up with a recurrence of the problem, with academy product Martin Smith taking his spot on the bench.

It was the second time in as many games that Sunderland had been forced into a late change after a similar fate befell Connor Wickham at Fulham, while full-back Anthony Reveillere suffered an Achilles injury during the warm-up before December’s Tyne-Wear derby,

“I saw the doctor and didn’t know whether to talk to him or punch him!” joked Poyet.

“It was interesting to go and see the referee and Garry Monk (Swansea manager) that one of my subs got injured.

“It was unexpected, but you need to be ready.

“In the morning, Giaccy trained at the hotel and he was perfect.

“But in the afternoon, he started running and couldn’t move.

“It’s just one of those things that happen.”

Giaccherini is expected to miss tonight’s visit of QPR too, although Sunderland are hopeful that he will be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round clash at League One Bradford City.

That scenario applies equally to Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley, although Lee Cattermole will remain sidelined for both of this week’s games.

But right-back Billy Jones could be in the squad tonight after missing the last two games with a recurrence of his hamstring troubles.

“Billy had a tight hamstring for a while,” added Poyet.

“But he’s trained for a couple of days.

“It’s another decision I need to make whether or not to throw him in tonight.”