Sunderland boss weighs up rotation question ahead of stern test at Burton Albion

Lee Johnson says his Sunderland side are set to face a very different challenge when they travel to Burton Albion on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 6:00 am

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side have won both of their league games, including an impressive 2-1 win over Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Johnson has warned his Sunderland side to be prepared for a difficult battle at the Pirelli Stadium, and says he will have to weigh up the challenging early schedule for his side in his selection.

“You just try and pick the best team to win the game, and it is obviously going to be a very different game,” he said.

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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

“I've got to assess the run of games we've had and have, and I've got to assess the sharpness of all the lads.

“I still think McGeady, for example, has a bit to do in terms of the catch up he's been playing.

“We'll find the balance.

“The lads have shown a great attitude, I've been really impressed with them all through pre-season and I think that effort is starting to bear fruit.

“It's going to be a really tough game and I think this is the beauty of League One.

“I hope we take a good travelling support because at the moment they're seeing us through.

“It's going to be compact, it's going to be direct, we're going to have to win a lot of first headers and second balls. We have to select the right team to be able to do that.

“You've got to deal with different styles, and you've got to have a squad adaptable to that while at the same time, play your own game and do it extremely well.”

Johnson will also have to weigh up a couple of key selection calls as he monitors the fitness within his Sunderland group.

Luke O’Nien missed the 2-1 win over MK Dons due to illness, and while Johnson is hopeful that he can return, he will have to assess his progress.

Corry Evans is also a major doubt after picking up a minor muscle injury on Saturday.

Frederik Alves could come into the squad after joining on loan from West Ham last week.

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