Sunderland hit by new injury blow as Chris Coleman ponders formation change

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
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Tyias Browning is the latest injury concern for Chris Coleman - with Sunderland set for a change of formation as a result.

The Black Cats have played with three centre backs in recent weeks but Browning’s badly swollen foot will force Coleman’s hand at the City Ground.

Sunderland only have central defenders John O’Shea and Marc Wilson available with Lamine Kone out with a knee injury and Billy Jones only just back from injury.

Lewis Grabban (calf) and Didier Ndong (ankle) remain out.

Coleman said: “We have two games in three days and I don’t see any of the lads being available who were unavailable.

“Darron Gibson is playing with discomfort with his groins but that is what we have got. You can’t make excuses.

“Lewis and Didier are definitely unavailable and Tyias Browning also.

“He has a badly swollen foot, he did it in the first half at Bramall Lane, he is very uncomfortable.

“He is a big doubt for Saturday, hopefully with another 48-hours rest he could be available for Barnsley, could be. Then again he may miss that.”

On a possible change in formation, Coleman said: “With Billy [Jones], he has experience but has been out for a while and not had any minutes out on the pitch. To go straight in against Forest is a gamble.

“Even with Bryan Oviedo at Bramall Lane, he looked rusty after being out and not having any minutes but it is needs must.

“The formation could change against Forest and a completely different one against Barnsley.”

Jack Rodwell (hamstring) is training but not ready for a return.

Coleman hopes Grabban’s calf injury is only short term but the New Year fixtures will come too soon.

“Calf injuries are buggers really, you never quite know, it can be a week, two three or longer. You literally go every 48-hours to see if there has been any improvement,” added Coleman.

“After this weekend he should be okay. It is not one of those we think he is out for six weeks, it is not a tear. It is a strain more than anything else.”

Coleman will also be relying heavily again on 36-year-old O’Shea.

He added: “It is not easy but you need his experience. He is calm. You need that, two games so close together is always tough.

“You see with Lynden [Gooch] and George [Honeyman] at Bramall Lane they lacked a bit of sharpness and that sometimes happens.

“We are going to have a look at all the players. I would be amazed if it was the same team that we play against Barnsley as we do against Forest.

“I’m not giving anything away there to Barnsley, it is obvious. We will have to look and see who is ready.”