LiveLee Johnson press conference RECAP: Sunderland injury latest ahead of Rochdale clash

Sunderland will welcome Rochdale to the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon – and head coach Lee Johnson held his pre-match press conference earlier today.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 5:25 pm

There were injury updates on Grant Leadbitter Ross Stewart, Denver Hume, Tom Flanagan and Bailey Wright – with the Black Cats thin on numbers in some departments ahead of the match.

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Scroll down for all the build-up, analysis, insight and more as the Black Cats look to extend their five-match unbeaten run in League One this weekend.

The latest transfer news from Sunderland AFC
The latest transfer news from Sunderland AFC

RECAP: Sunderland AFC transfer news (5 March)

Last updated: Friday, 05 March, 2021, 17:15

  • Sunderland welcome Rochdale to the Stadium of Light tomorrow afternoon.
  • The Black Cats could again be without a number of first-team players due to injury.
  • Lee Johnson spoke to the press earlier today ahead of the game

Thanks for joining us today

That’s it for today but we’ll be back bright and early tomorrow with live updates and analysis from the Stadium of Light when Sunderland take on Rochdale.

There is plenty more Black Cats content on the SAFC section of the Echo website.

See you soon.

Getting ready for the weekend

A full injury update...

Lee Johnson is here!

And here what the Sunderland boss had to say...

On not being distracted by Wembley...

To be honest, internally it’s been pretty easy because the games have come thick and fast and are so important so we maintain focus. Today we had a lot out there training, which is great to see. You wonder if the psychology of a Wembley final gives players a target.

On recent results...

We’ve got to take care of what we can do and keep being relentless in churning out wins. Our form is good, but we can’t rest on our laurels.

On Rochdale...

They’re very impressive with how they play out from the back. We’ve got to take our A-game into this, or we’ll be punished by a good side.

On making changes in hectic schedule...

It’s something we have had to think about quite deeply. We have to win all the games. Sometimes it’s horses for courses and you look at the opposition.

On injuries...

Ross Stewart was back in training today which was good. Denver Hume is back on the grass and Tom Flanagan is getting stronger.

On Denver Hume...

Very positive. It’s quite surprising the speed of recovery of this one. He was part of the warm-up, passing drill and then did some 1v1s with Ross Stewart. Looks good and is a great mover in the way he gets across the ground.

On Leadbitter...

He went to see a specialist. It was major trauma to everything in his shoulder, but it is a manageable situation. With the right strapping, the right conditions - there is a risk, but I think Grant is willing to take that risk over the medium-term.

Lee Johnson is coming up shortly!

Stay tuned for updates from his press conference...

Lee Johnson explains how Sunderland's 'relentless' schedule is helping ahead of Wembley trip

Good news for Rochdale ahead of tomorrow’s game...

They’ve seen midfielder Conor Shaughnessy’s red card overturned - meaning he can play tomorrow.

Brilliant from the new chairman!

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' classy gesture to Sunderland supporters as he pledges 'success and sustainability'

Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has written to a number of the club’s supporters to thank for their unwavering support.

Rochdale could be without some key men this weekend

Rochdale could be without SEVEN key players for their visit to Sunderland on Saturday – as injuries and suspensions take their toll.

While the Black Cats have their own injury woes, which could leave them with just one senior centre back available for the League One clash, their visitors are also thin on numbers.

But their problems are coming at the other end of the field, with a number of the Dale’s attacking players doubtful through injury.

The Sunderland defender has a prediction...

Bailey Wright makes this prediction as Sunderland eye promotion back to the Championship

Bailey Wright believes Sunderland are well-equipped for a ‘strong finish’ to the current season – as the side eye a return to the Championship.

Superb from Sunderland fans!

They’ve smashed yet another target as they sell virtual Wembley tickets to raise money for charity.

Over £92,000 has now been raised as part of the #SunderlandTogether campaign - with a new target of £100,000 set.

Some high praise for Kyril Louis-Dreyfus from Bailey Wright...

He’s got a lot of big plans and he’s not messed about. He’s got to work straight away, everything we’re hearing and seeing sounds great and some people he is bringing in and his visions and his philosophies of what he’s learned, you know for someone who’s only 23 he seems to know a lot about the game and is extremely passionate about it.

So there’s a lot to look forward to there from a player’s point of view, the staff, and fans; I think it’s an exciting time for the club.

Bailey Wright

Where do we stand on injuries?

Defender Conor McLaughlin could be facing another spell on the sidelines as he continues his recovery from a hernia operation.

McLaughlin’s experience and versatility has been crucial in recent weeks, yet he’s set to have an injection while the Black Cats will continue to monitor his progress.

Sunderland also have an injury concern over Lynden Gooch, who came off in the second half against Swindon with a calf problem.

Grant Leadbitter saw a specialist on Wednesday

to determine the extent of the damage done to his dislocated shoulder.

Tom Flanagan and Ross Stewart suffered minor setbacks last week but Johnson remains hopeful they will be available soon along with defender Bailey Wright.

And welcome to our live blog!

Matchday is once again on the horizon, with Rochdale coming to the Stadium of Light tomorrow afternoon.

Ahead of that game, we’re set to hear from head coach Lee Johnson today as he faces the press ahead of the League One clash.

As always, we’ll have live updates of that right here - as well as all the big news from around the club.

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