Sunderland boss reveals fitness boost and Covid-19 update ahead of Accrington Stanley trip

Lee Johnson says he hopes to have 'three or four' players back for the trip to Accrington Stanley this weekend.
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The trip is now a crucial one for Sunderland after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Lincoln City on Tuesday night, with Chris Maguire scoring a hat-trick on his return to the Stadium of Light.

A threadbare Sunderland squad has been reduced even with Carl Winchester shown a red card early in the second half, which will mean he is suspended for the clash with John Coleman's side.

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The Black Cats are battling a number of long-term injuries, with senior players Corry Evans and Bailey Wright also currently sidelined through injury.

Sunderland boss Lee JohnsonSunderland boss Lee Johnson
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

There have also been six absentees over the last two games due to COVID-19, and Johnson hopes that situation in particular will be much improved by the weekend.

“We hope to have three or four back for the weekend," Johnson said.

"Obviously, you can’t guarantee it because you’ve got to check out the boys and the effects of the COVID that they’ve had but we obviously need a bit of energy and a bit of flow back to the team.

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"We have to regroup, dust the boys down and hopefully get a fair few back as I said.

"That's important.

"We hope to be able to freshen it up and clearly that's needed, we had some going into the game with knocks and niggles, Alex Pritchard for example was 50/50 to play tonight but showed that character to get out there and fair play to him."