Sunderland without FIVE key players for Barnsley test as Jack Ross provides George Honeyman, Tom Flanagan and Duncan Watmore update

Sunderland will be without five senior players for tomorrow's clash with promotion rivals Barnsley.

Sunderland forward was forced off with an ankle injury against Wycombe on Saturday.
Sunderland forward was forced off with an ankle injury against Wycombe on Saturday.

Reece James, Tom Flanagan and Duncan Watmore were all forced off during the Black Cats' bruising encounter at Wycombe on Saturday, while captain George Honeyman was sent off late on.

Forward Chris Maguire also remains out after suffering a leg fracture in last month's win over Gillingham.

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"Chris Maguire remains out from his leg fracture," said Ross when asked about the injury situation.

"Both George Honeyman and Tom Flanagan suffered concussion on Saturday, so regardless of any suspensions, they would have been out anyway.

"Duncan will have a scan this afternoon. Reece James has a groin injury, so that's four from the weekend squad."

Watmore suffered an ankle injury following an awful challenge from Wycombe midfielder Marcus Bean in stoppage-time.

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The 1-1 draw at Adams Park saw Sunderland slip four points behind second-place Barnsley in League One - albeit with a game in hand.

Ross knows the importance of the game at Oakwell but insists the Black Cats won't chance their approach.

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"Every game at Sunderland is must-win and I’ve been like that since the day I took this job," added Ross.

"Where the opposition are in the league doesn’t change our approach.

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"It will be a different game, they'll play it and approach it in a different manner.

"A lot of times this season we've been at our best in those types of games and against good opposition team."