Sunderland AFC update: Advocaat gamble, star’s England woe, Pickford in form

Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford
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Dick Advocaat’s fitness concerns plus Jordan Pickford’s form have been making the Sunderland headlines today.

Advocaat told the Echo that he was in a Catch-22 situation over whether to play the Black Cats players in his squad who are struggling for fitness.

Beth Mead

Beth Mead

He said: “How can I get them match fit if I don’t let them play?”

Elsewhere, Jordan Pickford starred last night for Preston North End, helping them to a 1-1 draw against Bristol City.

The on-loan Sunderland goalkeeper was named man of the match after a brilliant display.

Pickford, 21, made four saves, including a match-saving one to deny Kieran Agard late on to show why a number of Premier League teams are being linked with him.

Meanwhile, Sunderland Ladies star Beth Mead has revealed her disappointment at being overlooked by coach Mark Sampson when he picked his England squad.

Mead, 20, leads the FA WSL 1 goalscoring charts, having netted 11 times in 12 games.

“I was disappointed not getting picked but I’m sure Mark will pick me when he thinks I’m ready,” Mead told Sky Sports.

“All I can do is keep training and keep working hard and try my best to get myself in his eyeline.

“I respect Mark’s decision. He thinks he’s got the best mix. I wish him well and I wish I was there but maybe I’m not ready and maybe he thinks I’m a little too young or not experienced enough.

“I’m sure there are a number of factors. But I’ll just keep going and keep working hard.”

Finally, our story about Inter Milan hitting out at the ‘absurd’ Ricky Alvarez situation was our biggest trending Sunderland article yesterday.

FIFA are still waiting to make a decision on Alvarez’s future.