Wear-Tyne derby to be played behind-closed-doors at Sunderland's training ground

Newcastle ran out comfortable winners when they met earlier this season.
Newcastle ran out comfortable winners when they met earlier this season.

Sunderland U23s host Newcastle United’s second string at the Academy of Light in a behind-closed-doors Premier League 2 fixture on Friday.

The game (KO 1pm) was due to be played at Eppleton CW, in Hetton, next week, but it was brought forward after Sunderland’s first team was drawn against Newcastle U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, that game taking place at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

Sunderland are bottom of Premier League 2 Division 2 after just one win and 10 defeats this season. Newcastle are sixth.

U23 coach Elliott Dickman said: “Obviously results haven’t been great, but you can still see that the players have improved and developed.

“We get a lot of support and encouragement from first-team staff so there is a lot of interest in the group.

“It will be a tough game and we have got to make sure we are as prepared as we can be.

“Hopefully from there, we can continue the good bits of form we’ve shown in recent weeks.”