Sunderland boss gives update on Spurs loanee and Duncan Watmore after recent absence

Duncan Watmore is a doubt for the visit of Gillingham on Tuesday night.

Monday, 18th February 2019, 3:15 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 3:22 pm
Deadline day signing Kazaiah Sterling has been struggling with a knock

The Sunderland forward completed 90 minutes for the first time since suffering two ACL injuries against Blackpool last Tuesday.

He performed superbly and after sitting out the 2-2 with Accrington Stanley on Friday night, Ross had hoped he would be available for a crucial game.

That could still be the case, with Jack Ross set to make a late call on his availability.

Ross added the attacking performance of his side against Accrington, particularly in the latter stages, gives him confidence they can thrive either way.

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"We've got a couple of players that we'll have to look at on Tuesday morning," Ross said.

"Duncan falls into the bracket of ones who might be a doubt.

"If he's fit and available, his performance against Blackpool was that encouraging he would come very much into the thoughts.

"In both games [Blackpool and Accrington Stanley] the personnel changed but we were a lot more creative and fluid in the final third."

Ross also confirmed that Kazaiah Sterling missed the Accrington draw through injury.

The deadline day signing has not been part of the squad for the last two games.

While he could be involved tomorrow, Ross admits he is likely to again have to make some tough decisions on his 18.

"Kaz was unfit.

"We thought he would be OK but he had to pull out quite late on.

"He's trained today [Monday] but obviously it's been a little bit stop-start for him with a couple of knocks.

"At the moment, we can only select 16 outfield players [in the squad] so with us pretty much at full health, there's always going to be four or five who miss out.

"At one stage we were probably having to push some of the boys [who weren't fully fit] but now we can be a bit more measured in that respect."

Denver Hume has remained with the first team squad as cover ahead of the game.

Hume is on the comeback trail after a knee injury but will not be part of the U23 squad that takes on West Brom tonight.