Sunderland AFC headlines: Tony Mowbray explains surprising Millwall decision plus update on Everton striker

Sunderland host Preston North End on Saturday afternoon as the Championship returns following the international break.

Here are today’s SAFC headlines:

Everton striker suffers injury setback

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On Everton loanee Ellis Simms, Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray said: “We’d hoped that he might be OK after this international break but that’s not going to be the case. We did say it would depend on how it developed.

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray.

"He’s had scans and X-rays, and it might be the case now that Everton want to do that as well. Our diagnosis is that there seems to be some ligament damage on his big toe – it doesn’t look like he’s ready to play for us this weekend.

“We’ll wait and see what Everton want to do and what their assessment is. Ultimately, it will always be the parent club who guide these decisions.

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"It’s his big toe, and I know from 20 years of playing that it can be a sore injury and if it’s affecting you running, it’s very difficult.”

Sunderland boss explains Millwall decision

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Tony Mowbray, speaking today at his pre-Preston North End press conference, also explained the club's decision to rearrange their game with Millwall for December 3rd, cutting short their break for the World Cup group stages: "I think it's the right thing to do.

"Normally with the World Cup, it's sit and watch the football, this year with a cup of tea and the fire on, life doesn't get any better.

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"But this means it's three weeks off instead of four, Millwall were happy with that as well. I think the fans will be keen to get back out at live matches so it should be a big occasion, rather than squeezing it in midweek later in the season.

"Hopefully we can find a good performance and a positive result."