Sunderland AFC transfer news RECAP: Lee Johnson issues striker fitness update ahead of MK Dons clash

A return to Wembley could be on the cards for Sunderland – after they advanced into the semi-final of the Papa John’s Trophy last night

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 3:30 pm

Goals from Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke added to an early own-goal and took the Black Cats past MK Dons and into the last four of the competition.

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Wembley is now just a game away, but Sunderland have some vital league fixtures to play before they can think about that.

Scroll down to catch up with all of today’s news:

The latest news from Sunderland AFC

RECAP: Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news (3 February)

Last updated: Wednesday, 03 February, 2021, 15:30

  • Sunderland are now just one game away from Wembley after victory at MK Dons yesterday evening.
  • The Black Cats return to face Russell Martin’s side in the league on Saturday.
  • Ross Stewart is unlikely to feature in that game.

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We’re signing off for today but will have more Black Cats news, analysis and more on the SAFC section of the Echo website.

See you soon.

Lynch on trial at Bolton

Former Sunderland centre-back Joel Lynch has joined League Two club Bolton on trial.

The 33-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since coming on as a last-minute substitute in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw against Gillingham in March 2020.

Lynch has also had trial spells at Charlton and Southend United since then.

MK Dons boss on Sunderland defeat

MK Dons boss Russel Martin said after the game: "If you take away the last ten minutes which will make everyone feel completely differently about the game, we have six shots, they have six shots, they have three on target, we have three on target.

"We were 1-0 down and they hadn’t had a shot on target so for 60-odd minutes I was pleased with the performance.

"I think conceding a poor goal, there was a fundamental mistake in there, not from Louis Thompson, but it shouldn’t happen with the work we do.

"I’m frustrated with that but I thought we responded well. I felt like we were right in the game."

McFadzean injury update

Sunderland saw left-back Callum McFadzean substituted midway through the first half of their 3-0 Papa John's Trophy win over MK Dons on Tuesday evening.

Johnson does not think the injury is serious but the defender will be assessed ahead of the return trip on Saturday.

"Callum just felt his groin tighten," said manager Lee Johnson.

"You can see the pitch is difficult. It’s quite firm just under that top inch of the surface, but the top inch is quite gunky and he just slipped as he sent the ball down the line.

"I don’t think it’s too bad, it’s just a bit tight, so we thought the best thing to do was to change it."

An interesting press conference from Burnley boss Sean Dyche

"We were playing away at Sunderland and a live human version of the man in up was there."

Praise for Ross Stewart

New Sunderland signing Ross Stewart has received praise from one of his former managers - Kilwinning Rangers boss Chris Strain. 

"Ross was very, very raw back then but he had a good first touch and physicality so that was a good start," Strain told the Daily Record.

"I remember Stuart Wilson and Alan Mahood looking at me like I had two heads when I brought him in but I was convinced Ross could play full-time football.

“When Ross signed he told me he wasn’t a good finisher or good in the air but his attitude was always first class and he listened and learned and got better and better.”

Shrewsbury chief hits out after Grigg deal collapses

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has hit out after a deal to sign Sunderland striker Will Grigg collapsed.

The frontman looked set to head to the Shrews for much of last week, before he then signed for MK Dons on deadline day.

Speaking to Shrewsbury's official website, Caldwell said: "We did agree everything with Sunderland. We did agree everything with Will.

"Obviously from Sunderland's point of view they wanted to get someone else in, which ended up being Ross Stewart which we were kind of aware of.

"Having been given the word from Sunderland that he wouldn't be going anywhere else, unfortunately I think the fact that there was a hold-up then appearing in media circles last Friday alerted MK Dons.

Reaction from last night

Lee Johnson offers a fitness update on new striker Ross Stewart

Lee Johnson says Ross Stewart should join the Sunderland squad in full training next week as he makes good progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Stewart’s last appearance for Ross County came on December 23rd, but he is nearing a return to fill fitness.

Johnson says he won’t take any chances with the 24-year-old, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal on Wearside last Sunday.

Stewart was not involved on Tuesday night as Sunderland booked their place in the semi final of the Papa John’s Trophy with a 3-0 win at MK Dons, though fellow January recruit Jordan Jones made his full debut.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the semi-finals...

From round dates to potential opponents, we’ve got you covered!

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