The Carabao Cup rule change that comes into force tonight - and how Lee Johnson thinks it will affect Sunderland

Lee Johnson says he is delighted to be able to make five substitutes for the remainder of Sunderland's Carabao Cup campaign, but admits it could yet work against the Black Cats.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 9:00 am

The EFL passed an amendment to the competition rules in the aftermath of the third round, with a number of clubs raising concerns about fixture congestion over the course of the campaign.

It means that Johnson will also be able to name nine substitutes, as well as making the additional two through the course of the game.

With Sunderland facing a challenging week on the road, it's a welcome change for Johnson, particularly as he has seen a number of players return to fitness over the past week.

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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

But he has also warned that in the latter stages of the competition, it will likely benefit the opponents of either Sunderland or QPR, depending on who emerges victorious from the game on Tuesday night.

"I am delighted with it," Johnson said.

"But...let's say with us or QPR. Whichever team gets through, you're going to be one of the lowest ranked teams.

"It allows the top, top teams to go younger and less experienced, knowing that they can bring on more experienced players if they need to get the result.

"In one sense I feel slightly hard done by in terms of our stature in the competition.

"On the other, in terms of our squad, it is very beneficial."

Corry Evans, Lynden Gooch and Frederik Alves all returned to the matchday squad on Saturday to boost Johnson's options.

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