Sunderland handed big boost for Portsmouth clash as Lynden Gooch pictured ahead of flight

Sunderland have been handed a big boost with the return of Lynden Gooch.

As reported this morning, Sunderland were hoping that at least one of their currently injured senior players will be fit to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

And Gooch has been pictured as part of the squad that has flown to the south coast ahead of tonight’s game.

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Gooch failed a late fitness test on Saturday after struggling with a calf problem against Swindon Town days earlier. However, a scan showed there was no permanent muscle damage and so the Black Cats were confident he would be able to return soon.

Lynden Gooch (left) pictured before the flight to the south coast.

Meanwhile Conor McLaughlin has responded well to an injection following hernia surgery and is expected to return either at Fratton Park or Wembley.

Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan are closing on a return but Tuesday's game could come too soon.

Sunderland flew from Teesside International Airport earlier today.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Our region has fast become the chosen one over the past week. First it was the announcement that the Treasury will be relocating to Darlington, then the news that Teesside will become home to the UK’s largest Freeport and now Sunderland have picked our airport to fly out of for their match against Pompey.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming the team through our terminal as it continues to undergo its multimillion-pound transformation. We’ve had Middlesbrough fly out in the past, with manager Neil Warnock regularly using it to get back home to Newquay. It’s great to be able to help out another team as they.

“We’re also looking forward to welcoming Sunderland’s fans through our doors when we reopen for holiday flights to Alicante and Majorca later this year, and people from across Teesside, the North-East and North Yorkshire fly from their local airport for some summer sun.”

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Sunderland will be looking to build on the 2-0 win over Rochdale at the weekend, Portsmouth meanwhile suffered a heavy 4-1 loss at Northampton Town.

Sunderland – who face Tranmere Rovers in the Papa John’s Trophy on Sunday – are well placed in the promotion race.

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