Sunderland face big dilemma as Jon McLaughlin is handed another Scotland call up

Sunderland goalkeeperJon McLaughlin
Sunderland goalkeeperJon McLaughlin
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Jon McLaughlin has won another call-up to the Scotland squad.

The 31-year-old has been in stellar form for the Black Cats this season.

Scotland face Albania on Saturday, November 17th before the visit of Israel the following Tuesday.

It leaves Sunderland with a dilemma should they receive another two call-ups, as seems likely.

The Black Cats are due to face Wycombe Wanderers next Saturday and Jack Ross is eager to avoid another postponement.

He fears a challenging fixture backlog further down the line, with finding a date for the previously postponed game against Blackpool not straightforward.

Speaking recently, Ross said: "Certainly, from our planning at the minute, we would like to play the Wycombe game.

“When the squads take place and they are announced we will look at it but if we keep having games postponed over the course of the season it will really make it problematic.

“Ideally, we don’t want to keep doing that. We had justification against Blackpool because of the players we had unavailable, but we don’t want to keep doing that.

“We will have to assess it when the squads are announced but certainly my preference is to play that game against Wycombe.”

McLaughlin himself said dialogue between the Black Cats and the SFA would be crucial to ensure the best possible outcome.

"That is the problem of this division, you don’t get the international breaks off," he said.

“At the end of the day, this [Sunderland] is who pays the wages and this is where your real job is.

“Of course, it is fantastic to be called up for your country, you want to go there and be involved and do what you can.

“If you’re not playing, playing more of a supportive role if you like, and you’re going to be missing key games, then there is a decision to be made there.

"You need to have the conversations and make sure everyone gets the best result. Yourself, your country and the club.

“We’ll see what happens with that.”
The last international break saw Tom Flanagan and Bryan Oviedo win call-ups, as well as youngsters Bali Mumba and Benji Kimpioka

Oviedo has fallen behind Reece James in the pecking order but Flanagan and McLaughlin have established themselves as vital figures in a defence that has kept four consecutive clean sheets in the league.