This is when Everton striker Ellis Simms will start for Sunderland

Tony Mowbray admits that Ellis Simms is not yet ready to start games for Sunderland but is confident that he can make an impact in the games leading up to the World Cup break.

Simms made his comeback in the 71st minute at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, as the Black Cats battled back to secure a 1-1 draw through Elliot Embleton's goal.

The Everton loanee will be in the squad against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night but Mowbray has heavily hinted that his involvement will again be in the second half.

Hide Ad

Simms could start before the World Cup, but is unlikely to complete 90 minutes.

Sunderland striker Ellis Simms

"It's probably similar [on Wednesday], maybe 10 minutes or so more on Wednesday night," Mowbray said.

"Of course, the state of the game will dictate that as well.

Hide Ad

"It's about him feeling more confident, he's still a young boy and we need to remember that. If he keeps working hard he'll start to feel more confident with it and his general fitness will keep getting back up as well, then he can get to where he can start thinking about starting a game, and then at half time he can feel that he's still got 20 minutes in him etc.

"It'll be after the international break that he's ready to play 90 minutes in my mind, but he's got three games before then where can build it up.

Hide Ad

"Hopefully he can get on the scoresheet and then go through that international break where he's really ready and raring to go come December 3rd."

Mowbray also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Ross Stewart and Daniel Ballard are on track to make their comeback after the World Cup break.

Hide Ad

"We're getting there, Ross was on the training pitches today though with the physios, not with the team," Mowbray said.

"It's good to see him with his boots on, kicking a ball, that tells me he's not too far away. Daniel Ballard has been out running for a while with the physios as well, so it's good to know that round the corner we're going to have these options, particularly when we go up against the big, physical teams."

Hide Ad

Aji Alese and Lynden Gooch are also expected to be fit to face Millwall on December 3rd.