Sunderland AFC headlines: Cats squad set for major fitness boost ahead of Blackpool

Sunderland host Blackpool at the Stadium of Light tonight – here are today’s headlines.

Sunderland handed major fitness boost

Dennis Cirkin will return to the Sunderland squad for the visit of Blackpool.

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Cirkin has fully recovered from a hamstring problem and could yet be joined in the squad by PSG loanee Edouard Michut, who head coach Tony Mowbray says he is eager to get involved as soon as possible.

Tony Mowbray.

“Dennis is ready, he'll be on the bench I think,” Mowbray said.

"He's over his injury, I had a good chat with him and together we just felt there was no need to risk it at the weekend, it gave him extra time to train. We think that was the best way to do it.

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“He feels ready and I expect to see him on the team sheet tomorrow.

“With Edouard, he fell a week behind when he first arrived because picked up a little injury, and needed some time to adapt to the intensity of the training,” Mowbray added.

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Sunderland's Academy of Light.

“He's catching up.

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“I'm looking hard now to give him an opportunity because I think the supporters will see that he's more than capable of playing in our first team, he's very elegant and he's got two lovely feet. He's got a great passing range, very confident with the ball.

“He will be involved very soon.

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“I can feel a little bit of frustration from him and I don't mind that. He will be given an opportunity very soon.”

Sunderland close in on key appointment

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Sunderland are closing in on the appointment of a new Under-21 boss, with reports Graeme Murty is in line for the job.

As reported last month, the former Rangers boss has been in talks to take over as Sunderland Under-21s boss after the job was advertised a couple of months ago.

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The post at the Academy of Light has been vacant since Elliot Dickman’s departure to Newcastle United last season in October 2021.

Club sources had confirmed Murty was a contender for the role last month but a decision had yet to be taken at that stage.

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Now the Training Ground Guru website claim Murty is to be appointed.

They report: “Murty spent five years with the Glasgow side up to November last year.

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"During that time he was mainly involved with their Academy, starting as U20s boss and serving as Head of Elite Academy Development for the last two years of his tenure."