Jack Ross will have to be ‘creative’ with his attacking options against Sheffield Wednesday after hopes of landing another striker didn’t materialise.
Top scorer Josh Maja is expected to be rested at the Stadium of Light tonight, with Charlie Wyke and Jerome Sinclair still out.
Ross had hoped to land a new loan signing in time for the game but yesterday’s noon deadline for registering any new players passed without any addition to the squad.
It leaves Ross with a dilemma ahead of the Carabao Cup first round, with Chris Maguire, Luke Molyneux and Lynden Gooch his other options to lead the attack.
Ross said: “I think it’s still an important game for us and I want to win it. But we’ve got three league games in six days, two in the London area.
“That’s tough for a squad that is relatively low on numbers.
“I very much need to take that into consideration. In saying that, the 18-man squad we had at Luton, apart from a couple of changes, that will be the one we take into this game.
“It’s just how we rotate them round and how we use them.
“We’re going to have to be creative in that sense because we’ll have to come up with something that means we’re not relying on the same players in the forward areas.
“It’s a challenge but I’ll try and come up with something that means we’re still a threat and capable of winning the game.
“In forward areas I have to be careful as well because Josh and Chris are all we have really. We have to look after them ahead of the important league games.”
Meanwhile, Lee Cattermole’s future remains up in the air with a potential move to Bordeaux off as things stand. The Ligue 1 club were keen on a loan deal for the midfielder.
But reports in France claim Sunderland turned down the loan offer, with Cattermole’s high wages also an issue for the French side.
Cattermole is one of the highest paid players at Sunderland, with the Black Cats looking to cut their cloth accordingly in League One.
Ross confirmed earlier this week that Cattermole and Bryan Oviedo remain part of his plans. The transfer window for clubs around Europe doesn’t close until the end of the month.