Sunderland head coach outlines what he expects his players to deliver at Wigan Athletic

Lee Johnson has urged his Sunderland side to get the fundamentals right as they bid to bounce back from their defeat to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 1:22 pm

The Black Cats face Wigan Athletic looking to cut the gap to the automatic promotion places back to two points.

Johnson was left frustrated with the manner of his team's defending on Saturday, with both of Charlton's goals coming from set piece situations.

The head coach is weighing up changes but insisted he would not overreact, saying it was 'inevitable' there would be setbacks on the way.

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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

"We've had no new injuries and so we want to go to Wigan and take the three points, there's still 21 left available," Johnson said.

"We want to get back on the horse as quickly as possible and try and get the desired result. We knew there'd be setbacks along the way, we've had to come from a long way behind and this division is not easy.

"Everybody is fighting for different things, you've seen on Saturday that battle for fifth and sixth is a scrap in itself. We need to go into the Wigan game better than we were today in our concentration, really, and doing our jobs.

"We can't give one goal away for something stupid. If they produce a bit of magic, or score with a wonderful team move, or there's a really bad refereeing decision, then we've got to hold our hands up. But not the way we conceded that second goal against Charlton."

Johnson says the game will be a test of his side's credentials, four months on from the afternoon his tenure started with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Leam Richardson's side.

That defeat left the Black Cats ninth in the League One table.

Wigan remain the bottom four as it stands but were emphatic 4-1 winners over Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and Johnson was impressed with their business in the January transfer window.

The head coach says a bruising recent 1-0 win over relegation threatened Bristol Rovers is a sign of what is likely to come, and says his side will have to produce a performance to match it.

"It's a bit of a test, isn't it," Johnson said.

"That was my first game in charge and we were beaten despite dominating most of the statistics. They're not a bad side at all, Wigan.

"They made some good January signings, they've got experience, and we saw in the Bristol Rovers game, how hard that was for us. We need to come away with that bit of confidence again that we've produced a good result and a good performance."

Johnson's biggest call will be whether Bailey Wright is deemed fit enough to make his return to senior action.

The head coach revealed last week that the experienced defender was fully recovered from a calf problem, but would make an assessment on when he would return based on his match fitness and the needs of the team.

Denver Hume is also pushing for his first start since suffering a hamstring injury the last time these two sides met.