Sunderland AFC news: Jordan Pickford knee injury fear, midfielder staying put, David Moyes challenges defence

Jordan Pickford makes a save.
Jordan Pickford makes a save.
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Sunderland are awaiting news on Jordan Pickford's knee injury - with fears the England Under-21 international could be facing a lengthy spell out.

While Pickford completed the full 90 minutes of the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United he was in some discomfort after the match and was sent for scans.

On Wednesday morning the club were still awaiting the results and have yet to confirm if he will miss the New Year's Eve trip to Burnley.

There are fears, though, that Pickford could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Vito Mannone set to be recalled to the starting line-up.

The Italian started the season as the side's number one but fractured his elbow in August, opening the door for Pickford who has starred since breaking into the side.

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Meanwhile, Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson has not closed the door on a return to Sweden - but says he has no immediate plans to return home.

Swedish sides AIK and Gothenburg are both keeping tabs on Larsson's situation, with the midfielder's current Sunderland deal set to run out next summer.

There is also interest from other top slight Swedish sides plus teams in Asia.

But Larsson says returning home to play football is not currently on his radar, with the 31-year-old keen to keep playing abroad.
And finally, David Moyes has called on the Sunderland centre-backs to take a leaf out of his book when it comes to finding the back of the net.

The 53-year-old made over 500 league appearances as a centre-half during a 20-year playing career and enjoyed a solid goalscoring record, netting 46 goals.

Sunderland, second-lowest scorers in the Premier League on 16, could do with their central defenders finding their touch in front of goal.

Lamine Kone, Papy Djilobodji and John O’Shea are yet to score, with Moyes concerned about their lack of threat from set pieces.

And with the Black Cats solely relying on Jermain Defoe, Victor Anichebe, Patrick van Aanholt and now Fabio Borini for league goals, Moyes is looking for that to change.