Sunderland AFC news: In-demand Jordan Pickford star of the show, Cats handed injury boost

Jordan Pickford is closing in on a return for Sunderland
Jordan Pickford is closing in on a return for Sunderland
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Sunderland's open training session proved a huge hit with thousands of supporters watching the players be put through their paces at the Stadium of Light.

Jordan Pickford, back in training following a knee injury, was the star of the show, catching the eye as David Moyes and his coaching staff stepped up their preparations ahead of the trip to Goodison Park to face Everton this weekend.

Sunderland AFC writer Phil Smith was there for us to cast his eye over the training session - and one man stood out.

Pickford, who is a reported summer target of a host of Premier League clubs including Manchester City and Everton, denied Jermain Defoe with a superb save in front of the watching fans.

Phil wrote: "On a wonderful and brilliantly attended afternoon, even Defoe, whose arrival at the ground was met with a fever akin to Beatlemania, was outshone by the electric Jordan Pickford.

"The 22-year-old looks to have picked up just where he left off before his injury at Old Trafford, making a number of superb saves.

"That was the biggest positive for fans watching on, alongside the unexpected and most uplifting sight of Jan Kirchhoff striding around midfield."

Read Phil's full analysis here:
Meanwhile, Jan Kirchhoff is back in training and closing in on a first team return.

"It was a great feeling to get back onto the pitch and an even better feeling to do it in front of an incredible atmosphere."

"It’s so nice that so many fans found their way to the Stadium of Light to watch us train and give us a real lift.

"It’s tough to be out because during you rehab you have to train on your own, so it’s good to be with the team again.

"I used last week as the next phase of my rehab schedule because I needed team training, so I worked with the Under-23s instead of travelling to New York."
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