Revealed: The Sunderland players dangerously close to suspension after EFL rule change
Sunderland could be faced with a dilemma in the coming weeks - with a number of players walking a disciplinary tightrope.
As per EFL rules, any player who picks up five bookings will receive a one-match ban for the next league fixture - with the cut-off for cautions not until the 19th league game of the campaign.
That means there are still nine games to survive before the boundary for a suspension increases - and that could leave a number of Sunderland players vulnerable having already racked-up a number of yellow cards in the early weeks of the season.
But who is edging dangerously close to a suspension?
George Dobson, Luke O’Nien and Chris Maguire all have some breathing room - having been carded just twice in League One this term - but will have to be wary that the cards don’t begin to stack-up in the coming weeks.
While that trio still need three cautions to receive a one-match ban, a number of Black Cats are just two cards away from suspension.
Grant Leadbitter, Aiden McGeady and Conor McLaughlin all have three yellow cards to their name and will have to tread carefully when they take to the field for the Wearsiders.
Closer still to a suspension is Max Power, whose booking against MK Dons on Saturday was his fourth of the season.
One more caution will see Power suspended for one game - and he still has some way to go until the cut-off date for yellow cards.
Sunderland’s 19th league game of the season is set to be the home clash against Burton Albion on November 26, although this will depend on any further postponements owing to international commitments.
After this game, ten yellow cards will be required for a suspension - with a two-game ban dished out to anyone who hits that number.
Sunderland also have a number of players on one yellow card - with Lynden Gooch, Charlie Wyke, Tom Flanagan and Denver Hume all booked just once this term.
The rules on bookings have changed in the EFL, meaning yellow cards are now competition-specific and only cautions received in League One will count towards any potential suspension.