Sunderland AFC transfer news RECAP: Lee Johnson hopes of injury boost ahead of Rochdale clash

Sunderland have progressed up the League One table in recent weeks and are now preparing for a visit from Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:28 pm

Lee Johnson’s side sit fourth after this week’s narrow win over Swindon and are just five points off the automatic promotion places – with two games in hand on second place Hull City.

The Black Cats do have several injury concerns, though, and Johnson has been forced to play people out of position in recent weeks.

Grant Leadbitter was due to see a specialist on Wednesday while the likes of Tom Flanagan and Ross Stewart will hope to recover from the setbacks that have delayed their respective returns to action.

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Lee Johnson.

But will they return in time for Rochdale?

We’ll have all the latest Black Cats news, analysis, insight and more from the Stadium of Light – stick around and refresh the page for live updates throughout the day:

Sunderland AFC transfer news LIVE (March 4)

Last updated: Thursday, 04 March, 2021, 13:00

  • Sunderland moved up to fourth in League One following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Swindon at the Stadium of Light.
  • The Black Cats are now preparing for this weekend’s home game against Rochdale.
  • Lee Johnson fears that Conor McLaughlin could be facing another spell on the sidelines following a hernia operation.
  • Sunderland and Burton have both been fined by the FA with a breach of rule E20 after an off-the-ball scuffle last month.

Bailey Wright has been discussing Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ early impact

Bailey Wright says the early signs of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ time at Sunderland have all been positive – and predicts there is an ‘exciting time’ on the horizon for the club.

The 23-year-old has already rung several high-profile changes in his early weeks in charge, with some boardroom reshuffles set to be followed by some further off-field appointments in the coming weeks.

Some new roles at the club have already been advertised while the likes of Kristjaan Speakman, Steve Davison and Lewis Dickman have already proven key apppointments.

And with more positive change expected to come, and optimism high among the fan base, Wright believes there is a bright future on the horizon.

The bookmakers have had their say!

Revealed: How Sunderland's odds to be promoted from League One have shifted after SIX-game unbeaten run

Sunderland’s recent results have helped to kick-start their League One promotion bid – but how do the bookmakers rate their chances?

BREAKING: Sunderland Ladies given return date

The Lady Black Cats haven’t kick a ball since December, but will soon be back in action.

They’ll be facing Sheffield FC on April 4 in the Second Round of the FA Cup, and then face a tie with Burnley or Fylde if they progress.

And should they seal victory in both ties, then a real glamour tie awaits - Manchester United at home in Round Four!

Lee Johnson and Max Power hail Sunderland fans after their fundraising efforts

Sunderland fans have now raised £85,000 through selling virtual Wembley tickets - and Johnson and Power have praised the initiative.

The trip to Wembley Stadium will not be the same without our supporters. We miss them at each and every game, home and away, and we can’t wait to welcome them back to the Stadium of Light.

We know that this has been an incredibly challenging year for our local community, but throughout it, our fans have not only continued to support the club, but each other. This is an amazing initiative and will help so many people within the North East.

Max Power

Although I am yet to experience the Stadium of Light in full flow, this once again underlines why Sunderland supporters are renowned for their passion and spirit.

This is a fantastic initiative and it’s great to see our players, staff and supporters coming together to support the local community at time when it needs it most. Even though we are currently apart, this campaign shows the unbreakable togetherness within the club.

Lee Johnson

There’s no shortage of injuries at the moment!

While Sunderland’s injury woes have particularly been felt in the backline, there are players absent in pretty much every position at the moment.

But when could we see them all return to action?

Phil Smith takes a look at what we know about each player currently sidelined, and the timescales placed on their return:

Sunderland's injury list in full and when Lee Johnson hopes key players could return

Sunderland are currently battling an injury crisis that has left Lee Johnson with just a handful of senior defenders available for selection.

Carl Winchester has been discussing his promotion ambitions

The midfielder is determined to get to the Championship - as he feels this is his last chance to play in the second tier.

Read his full thoughts on his time at Sunderland below:

Carl Winchester reveals his Sunderland ambitions and why he's desperate to help his new club achieve promotion

Carl Winchester says he’s determined to play a part in Sunderland’s promotion push – as he feels this is his last chance to make it to the Championship.

The state of play in League One

Sunderland and Burton fined

Sunderland have been fined £2,500 after accepting an FA charge for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

The incident in question came in the 55th minute of the recent 3-0 win over Burton Albion.

Aiden O’Brien and Josh Earl were both shown a yellow card as a result of the confrontation, and though a number of other players were involved in the aftermath, no further immediate action was taken.

Earl had already been booked earlier in the game.

Burton were fined £3,500.

Praise for Will Grigg

Sunderland loanee Will Grigg scored again for MK Dons on Tuesday but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat at Gillingham.

Grigg has now scored three goals in six appearances since joining the Dons on loan in January.

“His attitude, his attention to detail and his quality is fantastic and he’s getting better and better as he’s getting fitter,” said Martin.

“We are really happy to have him and as long as he keeps performing like that, we’ve got one of the top performers in his position.”

Defender Conor McLaughlin could be facing another spell on the sidelines as he continues his recovery from a hernia operation.

McLaughlin’s experience and versatility has been crucial in recent weeks, yet he’s set to have an injection while the Black Cats will continue to monitor his progress.

Sunderland also have an injury concern over Lynden Gooch, who came off in the second half against Swindon with a calf problem.

Grant Leadbitter saw a specialist yesterday to determine the extent of the damage done to his dislocated shoulder.

Tom Flanagan and Ross Stewart suffered minor setbacks last week but Johnson remains hopeful they will be available soon along with defender Bailey Wright.

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