Sunderland new boy Ruiter could get start in cup at Bury

Robbin Ruiter.
Robbin Ruiter.

Simon Grayson is unlikely to make a raft of changes for the Carabao Cup tie against Bury on Thursday, but Robbin Ruiter will be in contention for a competitive debut.

A demanding schedule will necessitate some rotation but the Black Cats boss is eager to continue building partnerships throughout his side.

He said: “He’ll [Ruiter] be in the squad. We’ve got to try him some time.

“But some players need more game time, because you need to get some continuity and build partnerships.

“I know if I put Robbin in on Thursday he won’t let us down, but I could keep Jason (Steele) in to help the consistency of team selection and developing understandings with people.

“A lot of the new players haven’t played much football in the last few weeks because they have been coming from clubs where they’ve not been required.

Grayson also revealed that Bryan Oviedo is closing in on a return to fitness.

The Costa Rican international could make his comeback at Hetton on Friday night, where the U23 side kick off their campaign against Spurs.

He said: “We had a couple of knocks on Saturday morning but everyone has trained today.

“Oviedo has trained with us but Thursday might be too early for him, he might get some game time for the U23s against Tottenham.

“Rodwell has trained, Maja hasn’t and he is about the only one who is out injured now.”

Grayson added that Sunderland have to be patient to land more transfer targets this month.

Talks have been ongoing with Aston Villa regarding striker Ross McCormack, but the 30-year-old’s bumper wages mean negotiations are complex.

Grayson said: “Certain players are on big contracts and their clubs are not going to loan them out or sell them to the first team that comes along – they might wait until later in the window because someone else might come in from another club.

“It’s going to be a case of showing some patience, and not diving in when we don’t need to,” he added.

“There are players who have been offered to us over the last few days that have gone on to move to other clubs, but I felt that they weren’t going to make us any better.

“We have a good base here in the squad but we do need the extra quality that we are going to bring in, and sometimes that has to wait until later in the window because the Premier League clubs are getting their squad sorted.

“That’s really the market we are looking in – along with other Championship clubs – but when they get their players in, there will be a knock-on effect.

The Black Cats boss expects further disruption in the coming weeks but says the club are well placed to deal with any eventuality.

He said: “Jeremain Lens was one of the people who made it clear early on that he didn’t want to stay at the football club.

“What I told him from Day One is that he had to work hard, join in with what all the other players were doing, and he did that – you saw that in some of his performances in pre-season.

“But, ultimately, when we got the right bid we took it.”