Sunderland AFC news RECAP: Phil Parkinson outlines coronavirus measures and promising injury update
Sunderland are preparing for Saturday’s League One meeting with Gillingham at the Stadium of Light – while talk of a potential takeover has increased this week.
Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson held his pre-match press conference earlier today and there was plenty on the agenda – including injuries, coronavirus fears and Sunday’s defeat to Coventry City.
Simply scroll down to see how the day unfolded on Wearside and what was said at the Academy of Light:
Sunderland AFC takeover news RECAP: 5 March
Last updated: Thursday, 05 March, 2020, 12:56
- Sunderland are preparing to face Gillingham at the Stadium of Light this weekend.
- Takeover talk resurfaced this week after Sunderland owner Stewart Donald claimed there have been 'massive' interest in the club.
- Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson says the club have banned players from going abroad due to coronavirus fears.
- Sunderland youngster Bali Mumba has left on loan.
Hello and welcome to Thursday's live Sunderland AFC blog.
The Black Cats are preparing for this weekend's meeting with Gillingham at the Stadium of Light, while takeover talk has also resurfaced this week.
Phil Parkinson is set to hold his pre-match press conference at 12:30pm today.
Simply refresh the page for live updates.
What's the latest on the takeover front?
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald is still looking for a buyer as he looks to sell the Black Cats.
Donald claimed earlier this week there has been "huge" interest in the club and that "a number of parties" are engaged in due diligence.
He also claimed the hold up in a deal had been down to the sheer number of groups interested.
Kieron Brady makes a takeover prediction
Former Sunderland midfielder Kieron Brady believes a takeover of the club may not happen until the summer – following reports that Stewart Donald has received ‘huge’ interest from a number of parties.
Speaking to BBC Newcastle’s Total Sport, Brady said: “It wouldn't surprise me if nothing happened before the summer.
“If you're interested in becoming the owner of a club like Sunderland, you do want to know where they'll be playing next season.”
What's the latest on the injury front?
Forward Duncan Watmore wasn't in the squad during Sunday's defeat to Coventry after picking up a heel injury.
Parkinson was hopeful the forward would be available for this weekend's meeting with Gillingham though.
Lynden Gooch and Charlie Wyke picked up knocks ahead of the Coventry game but both started at St Andrew's.
We'll get a full injury update from Parkinson at 12:30pm.
Southend ticket information
Tickets for Sunderland AFC’s upcoming trip to Southend United will go on sale at 9am this morning.
The Black Cats are scheduled to travel to Roots Hall on Saturday March 28 (KO 3pm), yet supporters have been advised the date of the fixture could change due to international fixtures.
Sunderland have received 2,464 tickets for the game, which are priced as follows:
Over-60s and emergency services*: £15
Students* and under-23s: £14
Phil Parkinson explains where Sunderland contract talks currently stand
Phil Parkinson has talks scheduled with Stewart Donald and Richard Hill over the club's contract situation.
Myself, Richard Hill, and the chairman will have a chat about the situation.
Charlie Wyke has backed Kyle Lafferty to make his mark
I know he probably hasn't had as much game time as he would have wanted, but I can see he's ready for his chance and he's going to be a good player for us.
Ipswich Town set to sack Paul Lambert?
Sunderland’s promotion rivals Ipswich Town are reportedly set to sack manager Paul Lambert – and replace him with Neil Warnock.
The Tractor Boys were the pre-season favourites for promotion but have endured a torrid run of results since the turn of the year and have slid down the table.
And while they still retain faint hopes of a play-off place, defeat to Fleetwood Town in midweek was another blow to Ipswich’s hopes of a return to the Championship.
Indeed, the Daily Mirror claim that Lambert is now set for the sack – with former Leeds United and Cardiff City boss Warnock ‘lined-up- as his replacement
Portsmouth's Gareth Evans isn't threatened by Sunderland
Portsmouth winger Gareth Evans isn't threatened by Sunderland or Coventry City in the promotion race - claiming he wasn't 'blown away' by either side when they played last weekend.
I watched the Coventry v Sunderland game on Sunday and I wasn’t blown away by either of those sides. We feel we’re as good as anyone in this league and the automatic promotion places are there for us.
Hall of Fame tickets still available
Tickets are still available for Sunderland AFC's Hall of Fame dinner, to be held tomorrow evening (Friday, March 6).
Kevin Phillips, Kevin Ball, Gary Rowell and the late Billy Hughes are among the second cohort to be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame - while Jill Scott will become the first female footballer to be honoured.
Tickets cost £75+VAT and can be booked online or by calling 0371 911 1973