Sunderland boss Jack Ross explains Tottenham loanee Kazaiah Sterling's absence
Jack Ross has explained why Tottenham loanee Kazaiah Sterling missed out on a place in his Sunderland squad.
The striker was absent from the 18-man squad that made the trip to Bristol Rovers before cruising to a 2-0 win at the Memorial Stadium.
And Ross has revealed that the Spurs loanee was omitted from the squad because he was keen to ensure balance on the bench.
With a host of attacking players, such as Charlie Wyke and Lewis Morgan, already named among the substitutes, Ross opted for Adam Matthews ahead of Sterling to ensure there was defensive cover if required.
However, the Sunderland boss is keen to get the 20-year-old involved wherever possible.
“Obviously it’s not easy,” said Ross.
“We brought him to the club and we want to involve him.
“On Saturday, the balance of our bench was probably more sensible than in recent times with having Adam [Matthews] on the bench.
“Having Adam back involved was a plus again, he’s a good player for us.”
Ross also moved to provide an injury update on Lynden Gooch, who missed the trip to the South West.
The American was rated as doubtful prior to the trip and was unable to make a recovery in sufficient time to travel with the squad.
There is hope, though, that he will return to training this week ahead of the visit of Plymouth Argyle to the Stadium of Light on Saturday,
"Just his hamstring, I’m hopeful he’ll train this week but he didn’t travel,” he added.
“It was nice to have Duncan [Watmore] available in that respect as well.”