Arbenit Xhemajli started as the defender stepped up his return from injury.
Sunderland took a first half lead during the Wear-Tyne clash through Tyrese Dyce but surrendered their lead after the interval with goals from Jay Turner-Cooke and Adam Wilson.
Will Harris, Oliver Younger and Stephen Wearne missed out on Elliot Dickman’s starting XI after travelling to Gillingham last Saturday with the first team as Sunderland’s U23s looked to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to West Brom in the Premier League 2 last time out.
Harrison Sohna, who also made the trip south with Lee Johnson’s first-team, started in the middle with first-team defender Arbenit Xhemajli getting the nod as he stepped up his recovery following a serious knee injury.
Jacob Carney started in goal after a successful display against Manchester United U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy with Sunderland lining up in the 4-2-3-1 formation currently favoured by the club.
After his first outing of any sort against Leeds United U21s two weeks ago, Xhemajli partnered Patrick Almond in defence following his return from a knee injury which kept him out since October 2020.
But how did Sunderland’s players rate in the 2-1 defeat? Here, Phil Smith dishes out his verdicts:
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