Tony Mowbray explains the key role Corry Evans and Ross Stewart play behind the scenes at Sunderland

Tony Mowbray says Sunderland's experienced players are having a crucial role in the run-in even as they make their recovery from serious injury.
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Mowbray is not expecting Ross Stewart, Corry Evans, Elliot Embleton or Aji Alese to play again this season but the former two in particular still have crucial roles as two of the established players in an otherwise very young squad.

Both are at the Academy of Light on a regular basis as they step up their recoveries and Mowbray says they will be key figures in the run-in.

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"They're good around the dressing room and the building," Mowbray said. I've just had a bit of a laugh there with Ross, hobbling in his boot.

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"They're in good form. It's important that they're here doing their rehab because they're important for our dressing room. You know we have a lot of young, inexperienced players and sometimes they need a gee-up after a defeat because results can affect belief and confidence, so they need some experienced players to be there for them to tell them what they're doing right and wrong rather than the old bloke who is always shouting at them and telling them what they need to be doing better. It's better coming from their peers in the dressing room and telling them they have to do this or that better or saying they were really good at this. It's good coming from the skipper or the main striker or the experienced players.

"It's good that they're around."

Sunderland remain hopeful at this stage that most of their injured players will be back for pre-season, though Evans may be absent for longer.