Sunderland defender Arbenit Xhemajli continues return to full fitness against Stoke City U23's as former Preston North End and Norwich City manager joins League One club with Sunderland Ladies star Grace McCatty earning team of the month spot

Sunderland return to action tomorrow looking to halt a run of three straight defeats in all competitions.

By Joe Ramage
Monday, 8th November 2021, 4:45 pm

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Lee Johnson’s side welcome Bradford City to the Stadium of Light in the final group game of the Papa John’s Trophy having already qualified for the next round.

And ahead of that tie, we round-up what’s been happening on Wearside and around League One over the last 24 hours.

Crewe bring in former Preston boss

Former Preston North End manager Alex Neil has joined Crewe Alexandra in an advisory role (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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Crewe Alexandra have been handed a boost with the arrival of former Preston North End and Norwich City boss Alex Neil who has joined the club as part of David Artell’s backroom team in an advisory role.

Neil, still searching for a return to football management after leaving Deepdale, has joined his former teammate at the Mornflake Stadium as the Railwaymen look to maintain their League One status.

Speaking to Lancs Live Artell said: “I spoke to the chairman months ago just about someone coming in, just a fresh pair of eyes for a few days. Have a look, see where we can improve.

“I played with Alex for a couple of years and we drove in together. He is a great guy. I trust him. He wants to help and he is having a look. ‘What are you doing here, why are you doing that, what’s this and what’s that?’

“He is questioning staff more than anyone else and has been invaluable already.”

McCatty named in team of the month

Sunderland Ladies star Grace McCatty has been selected in the Her Football Hub Championship team of the month for October.

McCatty grabbed the winner for Mel Reay’s side in their recent 1-0 success over Charlton Athletic as the Black Cats continue to solidify their place in mid-table upon their return to the Championship.

Black Cats defender continues recovery

Sunderland defender Arbenit Xhemajli continued his return to competitive action with another 90 minutes for the U23’s side on Sunday.

The Kosovan defender was part of the 2-2 draw with Stoke City at the Lyme Valley Stadium in Premier League 2.

Cieran Dunne earned the young Black Cats a point after Will Harris opened the scoring in the Potteries.

Xhemajli is recovering from a long-term injury which has kept him out of action for almost the entirety of his spell on Wearside so far.

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