Sunderland headlines: Defender suffers injury setback, Reading react to punishment

Sunderland host Hull City at the Stadium of Light on Good Friday, here’s the latest news from Wearside.
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Sunderland suffer more injury woe

Niall Huggins was withdrawn from the side’s U-21 match against Nottingham Forest as a precaution.

The 22-year-old full-back returned from a long-term injury at the end of last year and has been carefully managed back following multiple setbacks.

Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.
Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray.
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Huggins, who joined Sunderland from Leeds in 2021, was set to play for the Black Cats’ under-21s side against Forest at Eppleton, before tweaking his hamstring in the warm-up and being replaced in the starting XI.

Reading react to punishment

Reading have suffered an immediate six-point deduction for a breach of the EFL’s financial rules.

The Championship club have dropped from 46 points to 40, leaving them just one point above the relegation zone as a result of the penalty.

The sanction relates to the club’s failure to meet the terms of a business plan agreed following a breach of the profit and sustainability limits in 2021. The initial breach carried a six-point penalty with a further six points suspended until the current campaign.

That has now been enforced.

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A club statement read: “Despite radical changes implemented at first team level and right across the structure of the business to its very core – and a rigid adherence to a strict league-monitored wage structure and transfer embargo, the club accepts that it has not sufficiently satisfied certain elements of the planned budget and that, as a result, the independent club financial review panel has been unable to ratify that the club has met its forecast for compliance.

“We have worked closely with the EFL and the independent club financial review unit throughout the process in our aims to achieve the targets set out in the agreed business plan and every reasonable effort has been made to construct a competitive squad of players whilst avoiding further punishment.

“However, despite the substantial progress we have undeniably made and the lessons that have indeed been learned, as promised, we accept that the situation was never going to be easily or quickly fixed,” it added.