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Sunderland manager Jack Ross reveals the reason why Lee Cattermole didn’t feature in Grimsby Town win

Ethan Robson picked up a knock for Sunderland at Grimsby last night. Picture by Frank Reid
Ethan Robson picked up a knock for Sunderland at Grimsby last night. Picture by Frank Reid

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole missed last night’s 1-0 friendly win at Grimsby Town with a knock.

But he should return for Saturday’s trip to Scottish Premiership club St Mirren.

Cattermole was one of four players to miss out, with Alim Ozturk also missing again, though he too should be back for Saturday’s trip to manager Jack Ross’s former club.

Defender Reece James is facing a couple of weeks out with a groin injury, while keeper Jon McLaughlin didn’t feature because Ross wanted to give Max Stryjek a good hour against the League Two Mariners.

Sunderland won thanks to Lynden Gooch’s header in the 31st minute.

Midfielder Ethan Robson went off with a groin complaint in the second half and will be assessed.

On Cattermole’s absence, Ross said: “It was just a slight knock from the weekend. He should be OK for Saturday.

“Jon [McLaughlin] was fine. I wanted to see Max. Max was really good and I wanted to see him in a proper game. Jon is fine, he trained hard yesterday.

“Reece ... it is his groin. He could be out for a couple of weeks. Alim should be back for Saturday.

“Ethan ... it was his groin, we need to assess that, hopefully not to serious as I have been impressed.”

On Stryjek’s impressive display between the sticks, Ross added: “It was good to see Max. He has trained really well – I thought it was a good opportunity. It is a proper game, against a League Two side.

“He started very well. He deserved it for how he has trained. It is encouraging for me to have a group of goalkeepers who have done very well.”

On the game, Ross said: “The players have been very responsive in terms of what we have done in training, it takes time to adjust to a new manager and new methods.

“I am pleased they got their reward in terms of the result. They are important and they do matter, it is important for us to deliver the enjoyment of winning games.

“It was a good night overall.

“We have a squad without a recognised striker in it really.

“Chris [Maguire] did well, but that is not his natural position, Josh [Maja] comes on ... not his natural position.

“The back four is very makeshift too with a lot of young players involved in it.

“There are still loads of things to get better at, it was an improvement.”