Striker set to miss Rochdale v Sunderland clash as Phil Parkinson weighs up defensive reshuffle

Rochdale are unlikely to have striker Jake Beesley available for the visit of Sunderland as Phil Parkinson weighs up a defensive reshuffle.

Monday, 26th October 2020, 4:55 pm

The Black Cats head to the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday (KO 7.45pm) aiming to get back to winning ways following the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light.

But Sunderland will be without Luke O’Nien who is to serve a one-game ban after seeing red against Pompey. Versatile O’Nien had been deputising in the back three but Parkinson must now weigh up whether to bring in either Tom Flanagan or new signing Dion Sanderson into the back three.

The other option is to restore full-back Conor McLaughlin into the back three. Sunderland are again without long-term injury victims, Arbenit Xhemajli (knee) and fellow centre-back Morgan Feeney (hamstring).

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Luke O'Nien is suspended for the trip to Rochdale.

Speaking ahead of the game, Parkinson is hoping to see his Sunderland side bounce back quickly from the disappointing Pompey loss.

Parkinson said: “We're not getting carried away.

“We don't do that after victory and we certainly won't do it after this defeat.

“But we need to make sure that the display at Rochdale is much more consistent over the 90 minutes.

“We cant be flat because we have had a good start to the campaign. There will be set backs during the season and this is a knock for us.

"We need to make sure the performance is a good one from minute one until the last minute. We played well for a period of the game here but that isn’t enough to beat one of the teams who will be in the top six."

Rochdale, meanwhile, are expected to be without Beesley who needed stitches in a head injury sustained in the second half of Rochdale’s 2-1 win at Shrewsbury on Saturday – their second away league victory in four days.

Elsewhere for Rochdale, centre-back Eoghan O’Connell, who returned for the Shrewsbury clash following illness, is likely to partner 18-year-old Brighton loanee Haydon Roberts in the heart of the defence once again.

Paul McShane (knock), Kwadwo Baah (ankle) and Stephen Humphrys (knee) are close to full fitness but will not be considered.