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Kristjaan Speakman gives this update on Sunderland's January plans for Jack Diamond and Josh Hawkes

Kristjaan Speakman has said that Sunderland will not rush into.decision on a recall for loanees Jack Diamond and Josh Hawkes.

By Phil Smith
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 6:00 am

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The attacking midfielders have made a big impact in League Two at `Harrogate Town and Tranmere Rovers respectively so far this season, with both sides very much in promotion contention.With depth on the bench threadbare, Lee Johnson had raised the possibility of bringing them both back early in the window for cover, before making a final decision later in the month.Speakman has suggested that is now unlikely to happen, and that the final decisions will likely be based on incoming business."They're out on loan to enhance their development so we've got to be really, really careful," Speakman said."We had a situation with Anthony Patterson where we felt we needed him back, but we maintained really strong dialogue with Notts County and we just felt it was the right time to get back out getting games. He went straight back into the side at the weekend and by all accounts played really well [saving a penalty in a 3-1 win over Phil Parkinson's Wrexham]."We've been monitoring Jack and Josh really closely throughout the season and it will be in double figures the number of times that we've watched them both."We've kept a really close eye on them and it's about the balance, are they going to come back and be really effective and obtain those minutes and those experiences they need, or are they better off where they are?"That's also in balance with what else is available [in the transfer market]."At the present time, if we've got a choice of maybe two players that we've got a choice that we might be able to acquire, does Jack come in front of them, does he sit behind them, would we see him play more often, less often?"It's difficult to make that judgement up front."We're trying to plan appropriately, but we're not ruling out either them staying where they are for the rest of the season, or bringing them back."What we're not going to do is rush into that decision, because we don't need to."

Patrick Roberts is one of a number of attacking midfielders whose availability Sunderland are monitoring.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Sunderland winger Jack Diamond

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