Sunderland coach provides updates on Newcastle United and Leicester City trialists after Premier League Cup defeat

Sunderland are expected to make a decision about Newcastle goalkeeper Nathan Harker in the next 24 hours following a trial period with the Wearsiders.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 9:05 am
Newcastle goalkeeper Nathan Harker has been playing for Sunderland's under-23 side on trial.

Harker was one of two trialists who played for Sunderland’s under-23 side during Monday’s 3-2 defeat to Wigan at Eppleton CW, Hetton.

The 21-year-old was playing his second game for the young Black Cats after staring against Huddersfield last week but found it tougher against Wigan.

“I think it was difficult for him,” said Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman when asked about Harker after the game. “We watched them (Wigan) play and knew that their set plays were quite dangerous, obviously he’s come, he’s made his decisions whether to catch or punch but I don’t think it was an easy night for him.

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“He’s been in for a couple of weeks now and it won’t just be based on that one game, it will also be based on what he did against Huddersfield and what we’ve seen in training.”

Sunderland also handed a start to Leicester defender Justen Kranthove, 19, who joined up with the squad last week.

“He’s been up for a few days,” said Dickman when asked about the teenager. “He was due to play against Hartlepool in the Durham Challenge Cup and then again tonight.

“The idea was to give him two games, obviously the situation with the Hartlepool game everyone is aware of.

“We had a look at him tonight and we’ll take stock tomorrow to see where we go.”

Kranthove was withdrawn just before the hour mark against Wigan after scoring and conceding a penalty on a mixed night.

“Ideally he would have done a little bit more,” added Dickman. “He did fine but it’s not just based on what he did tonight, it’s based on a lot of things we do back at the academy.

“We’ve gone through various tests to see where he fits within the group, we’ll sit down with the staff tomorrow (Tuesday) and make some sort of decision.

“He’s tried his best and if it’s enough to stay and be part of what we’re doing moving forward, he’ll be delighted with that. If not we wish him all the best.”