Lee Johnson press conference RECAP: Latest injury and team news ahead of Fleetwood trip

Sunderland remain top of League One following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley – and Lee Johnson’s side are now preparing for this weekend’s trip to Fleetwood.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 2:33 pm

The Black Cats have won five of their first six league games this season and are also through to the third round of the Carabao Cup – meaning momentum is very much with Lee Johnson’s side.

Johnson will speak to the media later today ahead of the game at Highbury, and will be asked about the latest injury news and selection dilemmas.

Sunderland will have to make at least one change to their starting XI after defender Tom Flanagan picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

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New signing Leon Dajaku wasn’t included in the matchday squad to face Stanley but is expected to travel with the team to Highbury.

We’ll have the latest Black Cats news, analysis and more throughout the day.

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Sunderland AFC transfer news LIVE (September 15)

Last updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2021, 14:33

  • Sunderland are top of the League One table after three consecutive wins in League One.
  • Lee Johnson’s side are preparing for this weekend’s trip to Fleetwood.
  • The Black Cats boss will hold his pre-match press conference at 1:45pm.
  • Tom Flanagan is suspended for the match after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season.

Full Johnson quotes on fans

“I’ve enjoyed it all. I really have. Even the bad vibes if they ever come, I just think it’s a huge club and I think that the experience you get as a player and as a coach managing this club is one that you should cherish.

“It’s so passionate. I like it. I like the further north you go because I believe people live, really, for the football. I think Sunderland is a classic example.

“And I do too. It’s a lifestyle. When you’re a long way away from the family, you commit and you commit fully and that’s why I think the fans demand that commitment from the team and at the moment they are certainly getting that and it is creating quite a nice vibe particularly at the home games.

“But away followings are always good because obviously it’s a condensed singing section and so far I think we have already created pretty much a home atmosphere in away games.

“The likes of MK Dons and Burton away, our fans really stood out.”

Interesting stuff from Lee Johnson

“There’s always a natural fear of coming across badly. Things can be comical when reviewed back on film. We have been able to get a long with our work quietly.

“You have to make the right decisions. You have to make decision based on the long-term.”

LJ on Neil, Embleton and Fleetwood

“They have had to build trust. Young players will always get a little bit of grace, that’s natural and a positive.

“I don’t feel like for any particular reason that they will dip in form. They are great footballers. As long as they stay fit.

“I did watch the documentary a couple of years ago when it first came out. I watched the second series which I found hilarious because I know the characters.

“Simon Grayson is a decorated manager, he’s had League One promotions. In retrospect you see how much of a difficult job he had.”

LJ on Sunderland and injuries

“The fans demand that commitment from the team and at the moment they’re certainly getting that. Away followings are always good and so far we’ve created a home atmosphere at away games.

“Flanagan was out today and a body double had to be brought in for the team photo.

“We know he’s out with a suspension.”

“They are very well organised. They could be higher up in the league but it is early days. It’s 15/20 games before the table starts to take shape.

“We will take the game to them.”

Lee Johnson says Leoon Dajaku is progressing well.

“He has a start in him maybe up until about 60 mins or coming off the bench for the last 25 mins.

“I am delighted with the progress Dan Neil is making. It can be difficult being in between the under-23s and the first team. It takes a lot to come through that.

“The off season was a good period for him. Him and Josh Hawkes were working well together. We always knew he was a great footballing brain and technician. He made mistakes last year which is okay.

“But he has bounced back which has allowed for trust. It has been seamless.”

Lee Johnson on training at the SoL

“It was a good session. This is the squad that we are going with now.

“I am really happy, we have recruited perfectly. I have just gave the new players a presentation on how I pick the team. It’s vital for them to have clarity.

“It was great to see Arbinet train today. It was a heartwarming moment. Good news.”

How Fleetwood are shaping up

There will be a familiar face in the opposition dugout this weekend.

Former Sunderland boss Simon Grayson took charge of Fleetwood in January following the departure of Joey Barton.

The Cod Army won their second league game of the season last weekend, winning 4-2 at Rotherham, and are 17th in the table.

West Brom loanee Callum Morton, 21, scored his first goal for the club in that match as the side operated in a 3-5-2 formation.

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