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Sunderland game looking hopeful

Sunderland manager Jack Ross is keen for the game to go ahead despite call-ups, barring injuries:

Jack Ross is aiming to avoid a fixture backlog by honouring Sunderland's home game against Wycombe Wanderers next month even if international call-ups offer him the option of postponing. The Black Cats postponed their home game Blackpool this month after three players - Jon McLaughlin, Tom Flanagan, and Bryan Oviedo - were called up for senior international duty, but that has left the club with a headache as they try to rearrange - an issue further complicated by the Seasiders' continued involvement in the Carabao Cup.

Sunderland could be in a similar situation in November with Wycombe due to visit the Stadium of Light on November 17, but Ross wants that game to go ahead as planned even if the Black Cats have enough call-ups to ask for a postponement.
Ross will make a final decision nearer the time, with injuries also a factor which will need to be considered if they would leave his squad stretched.

"From our planning at the moment, we would like to play that fixture," said Ross. "We'll have to assess that when the international squad are announced and begin to take shape, but for us to continue to have games postponed over the course of the season is going to make it really problematic in terms of a fixture backlog. Ideally we don't want that."

"For the Blackpool game we had justification because of the players we had unavailable and the circumstances of it but we don't want to continue postponing games for obvious reasons. We'll have to make an assessment later, but my preference as manager would be to play that game although it may be that when the call-ups come in, we assess it differently."

It will be a difficult decision for Ross because if Sunderland are without several players for the Wycombe game and end up dropping points, some will say he made the wrong call but that is a risk he would be willing to take.



  • I could be wrong...and I hope I am...but I suspect taking points off Sunderland at home might be hopeful!

  • They have a game on the previous Tuesday, at Morecambe in the Checkatrade, and before that at Port Vale, on Sunday at 2:30 in the FA Cup.

  • Surely there has to be a cut off date by which Sunderland have to make a decision.

  • Already too late for the trip to not cost a fortune, is this really needed below championship level?

  • I don't think that this is really needed either, just pretend that the players are unavailable for selection owing to injury. If it was any other normal Saturday and that any team had an injury problem, the fixture would still have to go ahead without the injured player(s). Players on the verge of being in the starting line up will/should be given the opportunity to impress. I thought that there was something in the rules about fielding your strongest 'available' team?

  • I had an interesting conversation with a guy in BT Customer Services a couple of weeks ago. He’s been a season ticket holder at Roker Park/Stadium of Light for 45 years. He asked me who I thought would be promoted automatically to the Championship. Diplomat that I am........... He disagreed. He reckons Portsmouth and Barnsley and his immediate concern was that Sunderland were losing virtually a player per game through injury.

    Reckon his decision is very much in the balance and, apart from the injury situation, clearly also awaits news on international call-ups. Fingers crossed for 17 November.

  • I meant the manager’s decision of course!!

  • I now know why the wait to speak to a BT advisor is so long.

  • @micra How did you rate your football conversation with the guy at BT services on a scale of 1 to 5.

  • @Morris_Ital: I suppose I was bound to get an excellent deal after remaining loyal to the Post Office/BT for more than half a century and having queued on the ‘phone for the equivalent of about ten days so I give them foive, as Janice Nicholls (Juke Box Jury 1963) would have said.

  • The Sunderland manager is saying that the decision wil” be made when the International squads are announced. Note sure when that announcement takes place though.

  • I'm sure the Sunderland manager thinks he has a strong enough squad to beat " a side like little Wycombe" , even with international call ups.

  • @Blue_since_1990 said:
    The Sunderland manager is saying that the decision wil” be made when the International squads are announced. Note sure when that announcement takes place though.

    Hopefully he is not allowed to change his mind the day before the match if he gets an injury or two in training

  • Surely the decision was always going to be made when the international squads were announced?
    If they don't have enough qualifiers, they can't get it called off anyway.

  • I have got fed up with waiting-so booked a train out of kings x- calculated risk to get the good fare still available-but they are going fast for 17 th?

  • Same, worth pointing out you can pay about a pound more for the ticket to be refundable. Best to check small print. Wish I'd done that earlier.

    I'd prefer it gets canned tbh as i'd rather go up midweek. No idea why they can't just nake their minds up now particularly with what their manager has said.

  • Charlton Athletic already called off their match with Portsmouth for that weekend a few days ago because of advance notice of international call-ups.

  • How is everyone travelling up there, providing its on the Saturday? Trains and Flying proving too expensive due to the uncertainty

  • I have been looking at National Express coaches and making a weekend of it but want to know if it's on first, when do these international squads get annouced? It isn't long to go now!

  • @colonel_splaffy, I asked at the ticket office yesterday and they said they will know on Friday if it's on. That seems unnecessarily late.

  • The cheapest return I can find from Kings X is currently £88.50, through Birmingham route it's a wallet emptying £148.

  • £39 return on OWWSA coach (£34 if you’re a member) but I suppose you’d need to be fairly near Adams Park in the first place as the coach(es) departs at 7am. Ample parking at AP of course.

  • Really nice, @ArnoldLayne. Looks like he hasn't changed a bit. Really glad to see he's apparently still such a top bloke.

  • Sunderland to Plymouth! That's a trip and a half!

  • If Sunderland announce the game is on this Friday and then the following week find out that a couple more of their players are called up for international duty due to injuries elsewhere are they then allowed to postpone? In other words is there a deadline date whereafter they can no longer postpone the fixture?

  • No chance they can change their decision like that, that'd be pure farce

  • So that’s a yes then @Malone? The FA put the fa in farce

  • On Nov 4th last year Wigan had a late call up (of a 4th player) resulting in their game against Rochdale, scheduled for the 11th, being postponed. So that was at a weeks notice.

  • Almost like they couldn't give a toss about traveling fans. Surely not..

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