Sunderland set for away tie in Papa John’s Trophy plus Doncaster chief sends warning to Charlton, Ipswich, Portsmouth and League One rivals

Sunderland will discover their second-round opponents in The Papa John’s Trophy on Friday evening.
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The draw will take place live on talkSPORT 2 from St Andrew’s Stadium at 6:15pm, before Birmingham’s Championship meeting with Coventry.

A total of 32 clubs will be involved in the second round of the competition with the draw split into Northern and Southern sections.

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Sunderland will be handed an away tie after finishing second in their group, with knockout matches set to start the week commencing December 7.

Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin.Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin.
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin.

Doncaster aiming high

Next up for Sunderland is a trip to Doncaster this weekend.

Rovers, managed by former West Brom boss Darren Moore, are 11th in the League One table but have at least one game in hand on most of the teams above them.

There remains plenty of optimism around the Keepmoat Stadium after Doncaster managed to keep captain Ben Whiteman during the last transfer window, following interest from Championship club Barnsley.

Despite competition from the likes of Sunderland, Charlton, Ipswich, Hull and Portsmouth, Doncaster chief executive Gavin Baldwin told our sister title The Yorkshire Post: “We still believe we have given ourselves every chance to challenge for the top six.

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“Darren, as our manager, believes our team is better than last year and we can have an exciting season.

“We know we’ve got to have the most successful team we possibly can. For us, that means challenging for the play-offs every year.”

Striker reacts to transfer speculation

Sunderland were one of several clubs to be linked with Boreham Wood striker Sorba Thomas during the last transfer window.

The 21-year-old has scored two goals in seven appearances for the non-league club this season but hasn’t ruled out a move in January.

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“I have a relationship with the gaffer, with the chairman and they did let me know,” Thomas told South London Press.

“We had a little conversation but like I said, I’m a Boreham Wood player until I’m told that I’m not.

"I’ll put 100 per cent into the games for the team and get the boys to where they should be – in the football league. That’s our aspirations for this year. We’re still on course. Let’s see what happens.”

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