Elliot Dickman handed boost ahead of Sunderland's clash with Newcastle United U23s
Elliot Dickman’s Sunderland under-23s welcome Newcastle United tonight at Eppleton CW in a Premier League 2 Wear-Tyne derby.
The junior Black Cats are rock bottom of the league having picked up just one point from their opening seven fixtures. The Magpies sit third-bottom with two wins and six points so far this campaign.
There is cause for Sunderland hope however, the Wearsiders are three unbeaten in all competitions after securing a draw away to Huddersfield before thrashing Boldon CA in the Durham County Challenge Cup.
Dickman has been handed a boost by the inclusion of occasional first-teamer Benji Kimpioka, who is back after a three-game suspension having received a red card after the full-time whistle against Middlesbrough following an altercation Jed Spence.
Speaking to safc.com, Sunderland’s manager said: “I was pleased with how we played against Boldon, it was nice to have a lot of the ball and we certainly used that well.
“We played some great stuff and if we’d have taken a bit more care in the final third, we’d have won the game by more.
“The fact that we have Newcastle on Monday means there will always be a wider interest in the game; we need to focus on our job and go out there to try and get a positive result.
“It’s clear the group have definitely made improvements since the start of the season.
Sometimes the rub of the green hasn’t gone our way and we’ve narrowly lost games that could have gone either way.”