Sunderland AFC news RECAP: Lee Johnson reveals triple injury blow ahead of Blackpool trip
Sunderland face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road tomorrow afternoon.
The clash comes after the Black Cats’ suffered back-to-back losses to all but ruin their automatic promotion hopes.
Sunderland were beaten 2-1 at Charlton Athletic last weekend and were then defeated again by Wigan Athletic the following Tuesday.
That leaves Lee Johnson’s side five points outside the automatic promotion places and without a win since the victory against Oxford United at the Stadium of Light on Good Friday.
Sunderland now have six games remaining
The Black Cats then face Hull City next Tuesday before games against Accrington Stanley, Blackpool (again), Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town.
And ahead of the game, the Sunderland Echo will be bringing you all of the build-up before the trip south in our live blog.
Here, we’ll have the latest news as Sunderland prepare to face Neil Critchley’s Tangerines at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
Sunderland AFC transfer news (April 16)
Last updated: Friday, 16 April, 2021, 12:46
- Sunderland face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road tomorrow afternoon
- The Black Cats have just six games remaining in League One
- Lee Johnson’s men haven’t won since the Oxford United game on Good Friday
- That win at the Stadium of Light was followed by a draw to Peterborough United and losses to Charlton and Wigan
League One owner claims Sunderland and their rivals could unite for seven-day social media boycott next week
All Premier League and EFL clubs could be set to come together for a seven-day social media boycott as soon as next week.
That’s according to Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony, who says there is talk that all clubs could sign up to the boycott.
Athletes across all sports have vociferously called for social media platforms to take heavier action against anonymous accounts who send abusive messages.
Championship clubs Swansea City and Birmingham City, plus players from Scottish Premier League champions Rangers – who saw Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe abused online after the Sparta Prague game – took the decision last week to stay off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for seven days.
This is where the data experts are predicting Sunderland will finish
Sunderland defender Bailey Wright has this strong promotion message as Hull City and Peterborough made favourites
Bailey Wright believes Sunderland cannot yet be ruled-out of the automatic promotion race – despite their defeat at Wigan Athletic.
The Black Cats were beaten 2-1 by the relegation-threatened Latics on Tuesday evening as they made it back-to-back defeats in League One.
Charlie Wyke had opened the scoring, but strikes from Will Keane and Callum Lang as the hosts take victory as the Wearsiders were unable to bounce back from their defeat to Charlton Athletic.
As a consequence of those results, Sunderland’s promotion hopes are now out of their own hands with the side reliant on slip-ups from Hull City or Peterborough United if they are to break into the top two.
And while that duo may now be odds-on with the bookmakers to gain automatic promotion come the end of the season, Wright believes his side cannot be discounted from the conversation just yet – warning that ‘a lot can happen’ between now and the final game of the campaign.
“Externally, people will say what they say,” he said.
“If that’s what you believe, that it’s a two-horse race with them, then that’s your opinion. I don’t agree with that - I think we’ve still got a good position, there’s a few games of football left and we all know football, it’s full of twists and turns...” READ MORE HERE
Lee Johnson is holding his press conference this lunchtime - we’ll have live updates here
Fit and raring to go
Sunderland defender Bailey Wright says he is ready to play his part in the final weeks of the season – with Lee Johnson sweating over some fresh injury concerns.
Wright, who was sidelined with a calf injury after the Papa John’s Trophy semi-final tie with Lincoln City, played the full 90 minutes at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening in what was his first game in two months.
And the Australian says he is fit and raring to go ahead of the final six games of the season.
Bailey Wright has been speaking
“I said that when I was back fit I would make sure I was fully fit,” explained Wright.
“The medical team and the fitness team have kept me fit so that I was ready to be back on the football pitch I could go on and play 90 minutes.
“Obviously I wasn’t meant to be starting at Wigan, but my mentality for every game is to be ready because every game is full of curveballs and anything can change.
“I was ready, I feel fit and I’m ready to play my part.”
Sunderland U23s are in action this afternoon
“We will miss him"
Lee Johnson has confirmed the injury to Dion Sanderson and says he will need time to rest, hasn’t fully been ruled out for the season just yet but return of Bailey Wright is a boost.
Sanderson injury a big blow for Sunderland though and Johnson says ‘we will miss him’.
Lee Johnson on the injury blow
“We have to keep going"
“We have to strive for the maximum points, the only way you do that is by nailing the process. That has been our downfall, the concentration and the process that leads to that.”
“We have come a long way behind to get here, it is now how we can respond. We can’t control Peterborough’s game tonight. It is a challenge for us internally, we want to start another good run.
“We will fight to the death. If we don’t secure automatic then we need to be in good form and peaking for the play-offs.”
“It is a competitive division. You always want to keep a steady side but it is difficult to do with a game every three days and changes to the backline and little injuries.”
Big game this weekend
“If we don’t get the performance right then we won’t get the result, we know what is required.
“There is a belief in the squad, we have players who can cause opponents problems.
“We can still play quality football and I expect a positive and confident reaction and expect the team spirit to take us through to a win at Blackpool.”
On Tom Flanagan
Johnson said: “They are going to treat it as a bone issue with the foot, they haven’t decided the cause of remedy, it could be an injection, time or an operation.
“It all stems from the original broken foot.”