Sunderland AFC news: Gillingham boss reveals injury problems as ex-player talks possible Dan Neil sale after chat with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus

The Black Cats enjoyed a free weekend after their clash with Oxford United was postponed but are in action tomorrow in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:24 pm

The Wearsiders are now outside the automatic promotion places in League One following wins for Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers.

Lee Johnson’s men, though, face Manchester United U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy tomorrow evening at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats return to league action away to Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.

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Here we take a look at the most interesting Sunderland and League One stories this morning:

Sunderland legend chats to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus

Ex-Black Cats striker Kevin Phillips has delivered his verdict on the possibility of Sunderland selling their young players.

That’s after Phillips spoke with Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus at the Foundation of Light’s 20th birthday Gala Awards Dinner.

“I believe with the new owner, who I chatted to the other night, they won’t sell the likes of Dan Neil,” he told Football Insider.

“Everything is in the right place. The club is moving in the right direction.

“You have to keep players like Dan Neil. Academy players will look to Neil as inspiration for themselves.

“Lee Johnson has shown that he is looking to go down that route. He is going for a young youthful side. You can see that in his signings. The balance looks really good.

“If you are a young player coming through that academy now you are looking to Dan Neil. His progression will give them confidence and that’s vital.”

Gills boss reveals injury problems ahead of Sunderland clash

Gillingham manager Steve Evans has revealed injury frustrations ahead of this weekend’s League One clash against Sunderland.

Speaking after Saturday’s match against Wycombe, he said: “If people are frustrated at not seeing them they want to live in my head. It is not a very good place at the minute when you are constantly watching lots of players, very good players, not being available for selection.”

Evans had hoped that both Ryan Jackson and Mustapha Carayol could be back available to play.

Both trained in the lead-up to the weekend.

Evans said: “On the Thursday I thought they would have been available for selection on Saturday. By the time Friday’s training session finished neither were available.

“It is really difficult to manage when in training on Thursday you are thinking ‘I have Jackson available, although maybe not right away to start. Carayol is a lot fitter because he played more recently and he could gave been available to start. He is as good a wide player as there is in the league.”

Evans has already ruled left-back David Tutonda out for this weekend’s game with Sunderland.

And Watford midfielder Daniel Phillips remains some way off recovery.

Evans continued: “Dan will be another two weeks for the air boot to come off and another four to build his fitness up.

“We came out of Colchester and he was fine but two days later he says he is feeling something and that is what the diagnosis of the scan was.”

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