Sunderland boss Lee Johnson gives Lynden Gooch update amid injury concern

Lee Johnson admits he faces a nervous wait to see if his injury list will worsen ahead of the festive period.

Sunderland forward Lynden Gooch
Sunderland forward Lynden Gooch

Lynden Gooch was forced off in the 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle with a groin complain at half time, and the Sunderland head coach says is it is too early to judge the damage.

“Lynden went for a header and landed funnily - he almost did the splits,” Johnson said.

“It's a groin strain and he felt it enough to come off.

“Sometimes they settle down pretty quickly and sometimes they are bad - there's no real in-between.

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“He will probably be fit for training on Tuesday or out for three or four weeks.”

Johnson opted to introduce Elliot Embleton in his place, and admitted that his side looked defensively less stable throught he second half.

He eventually switched to a more orthodox back five, matching up Plymouth as his side held on.

“I went to a five because I thought it was the simplest way for the players to have clarity,” Johnson said.

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“It made us strong in the middle of the pitch with Bailey, Flanno and Doyle.

“Doyle was dragged out a bit once Goochy went off, and Leon was playing out of position at wingback, Embleton out of position, Winchester out of position - that's credit to them, and to the work that we do, because they are tactically adaptable and fighting for the cause even when they are in uncomfortable positions.

“In the last two games, we have started with four at the back but it has had to be a lop-sided four,” he added.

“What I've had to do is find ways to get certain players on the front foot.

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“Gooch has got the licence to go as high as he likes, but it's important that everybody shuffles around really quickly.

“Sometimes it will look like a five but actually it's a 4-2-3-1, then in this game we had to move to a five.

“We actually conceded in a five, but I don't think that had any relevance.

“Sometimes you need to match up, match your opponent athletically, and have the clarity to go toe-to-toe and one-vs-one.”