Jack Ross hopes to have some of his walking wounded back for Saturday’s trip to struggling Southend United - and says he will play as a strong a team as possible.
The Black Cats face the lottery of the League One play-offs following last night’s last minute defeat to Fleetwood Town, the 2-1 loss ending any hope of a top two finish.
Sunderland’s defeat at Highbury Stadium, coupled with Portsmouth’s 3-2 loss at home to Peterborough United, saw Luton Town and Barnsley promoted.
Sunderland could still finish third, fourth or fifth depending on the result at Southend United, 20th in League One, a place outside the bottom four, so the game at Roots Hall - to be televised live on Sky Sports - has a lot riding on it still.
Sunderland hope to have Charlie Wyke back, the striker missed last night’s game with a dead leg, while Aiden McGeady was missing, not involved as Ross manages the winger's fractured foot.
Ross said: “Charlie was injured, he got a dead leg Saturday.
“It wasn’t precautionary, he would have been involved if fit but he wasn't
“I will see how he is for Saturday.
“Hope he will be okay for Saturday, it is just a dead leg but taken some time to settle."
On McGeady, Ross added: “He wasn’t just rested, it was a decision based on how sore he was Saturday and this Fleetwood game coming around so quickly.”
The Scot has also confirmed he has no intention of resting players for the Southend trip ahead of the two-legged play-off semi-final the following week.
Ross said: “There are guidelines now which impact on how many changes you can make and rightly so, you have to be respectful of the whole league.
“They have a lot to play for. I have a squad that has a lot to play for in terms of them wanting to be involved for the play-off games.
“We will have some bumps and bruises from this game, we will make a balanced decision on that.
“It will be as strong a team as possible that we can play.”