Sunderland AFC news: Injured striker latest, Chris Maguire on THAT nickname plus fan help wanted
Josh Maja missed the 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers with an ongoing ankle problem but Jack Ross hopes to have him back for the visit of Southend United.
Sunderland made it three away wins on the bounce in League One thanks to Chris Maguire’s 47th minute winner, the Black Cats sealing another victory despite being without their nine-goal top scorer.
Ross confirmed Maja hadn’t recovered sufficiently to take part at the Keepmoat Stadium but hopes he will be able to call upon him this weekend when Southend visit Wearside.
“It was his ankle injury, he didn’t recover as well as we’d hoped,” said Ross. “We anticipated he would be involved but it didn’t recover well enough.
“It was a blow for us but we showed our strength to win without a player that has contributed so much this season.
“I would be hopeful he’d be available Saturday, it is not a major injury, but I was hopeful for last night too. We have a few days. I would hope to have him in the squad at least.”
Ross added: “I am always sensible with things like that, there is a bigger picture. He wasn’t comfortable with it.
“He is 19, he has a long career ahead of him. I was confident with what I had and the form they were in, I knew they would be able to deal with it.”
Chris Maguire admits being crowned Sunderland’s ‘king’ has led to some stick from his team-mates.
But the 29-year-old is relishing the adulation from supporters and says he has his ‘love of the game back’.
Maguire scored the winning goal on Tuesday to underline his cult hero status at the Stadium of Light.
“I don’t know where it’s come from but it’s stuck and all the boys are giving me a bit of stick for it,” Maguire said.
“But if that’s what the fans are requesting then you’ve got to try and live up to it! It’s a bit of a banter, and it is nice to get that appreciation from fans. It’s up to me to keep putting the
performances in and keep chipping in with the goals as well.
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“I’m loving it [at Sunderland], I think everyone can see that on the pitch,” he added.
“I’ve got my love for the game back."
The final phase of Sunderland's Stadium of Light revamp will go ahead later this month with the installation of 10,000 new seats - with the help of supporters.
So far more than 20,000 faded red seats have been replaced inside the stadium with brand new red and white seats.
The final phase of the work, which started this summer, will see another 10,000 installed in the West Stand and South Stand in the week beginning Monday, October 29.
A club statement read: "Once again, supporters are invited to play their part in working alongside the stadium's maintenance team to install the seats.
"Naturally, the safety of supporters is always the utmost priority and to ensure that the necessary health and safety requirements are met, participants must be over 18 years of age and have a basic level of technical ability to do the job.
"There will be two sessions each day - morning and afternoon- and at the end of their shift, fans will be able to enjoy complimentary refreshments in Quinn’s Sports Bar."
A new colour scheme inside the lower bowl of the Stadium of Light has seen white seats installed in the corners of the ground.
Speaking in the summer, Sunderland owner Stewart Donald said: "Replacing the seats, and making the Stadium of Light somewhere we can all be proud of again, is just part of our project to work to restore this great club to what it should be.
"Encouraging fans to play their part in the seat replacement process is part of our policy of re-engaging with fans - these things may seem trivial to some, but as football fans ourselves Charlie [Methven] and I know how important it is for supporters to have a sense of ownership of their club."
Fans wishing to go along and help the SAFC team can register their interest on the club website.