TRIALIST Max Clayton will have another chance to earn a permanent Sunderland contract in tonight’s friendly at Hartlepool United.
Out-of-contract Crewe striker Clayton was originally expected to spend a fortnight training with the Black Cats, as he looks to earn his move to the Premier League.
But Sunderland have extended the 19-year-old’s trial and he will feature in tonight’s clash at Victoria Park after a bright 45 minutes in Sunderland’s opening pre-season encounter at Darlington 1883 last weekend.
Head coach Gus Poyet is then expected to make a decision on whether Sunderland look to agree a permanent fee for Clayton or allow the frontman to return to Gresty Road.
“He’s playing tonight,” said Poyet.
“I want to see him in a different game with different players and make a final decision.
“I don’t think after seeing him running in pre-season for two weeks and then having 45 minutes of football, it’s enough to make a decision on him.”
Poyet will change his entire XI against Pools from the one which started the 1-0 win at Carlisle last night.
Adam Johnson, who missed the Darlington game with an ankle problem, will feature against Colin Cooper’s side, but there will be no place for injured Liam Bridcutt.
Poyet added: “Liam trained with us today, but he won’t play tonight. He will play in Portugal.”
Tickets in the away ends will be available on the turnstiles for tonight’s game priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Sunderland fans have been allocated the Niramax seats and terrace, with turnstiles 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 open for away supporters from 6.30pm.