Sunderland are preparing for their match with Stoke City Under-23’s this evening as the two sides meet at the Stadium of Light in the Checkatrade trophy.
And, according to a report by the Sunderland Echo, Jack Ross has admitted he will make a number of changes for the game, however, he will hand a number of his first-team players a chance to get match fitness.
The manager mentioned that the likes of Charlie Wyke, Dylan McGeouch, Tom Flanagan, Reece James and Alim Ozturk could all be involved for the Black Cats, in a tournament he wants to be competitive in.
“I think we have to be respectful of the competition, it’s important to stress that,” he told the Sunderland Echo.
“It’s silverware, it’s an opportunity to get to the national stadium. It’s a sponsored tournament, there’s all these different reasons.”
He added: “We’ll make a lot of changes but we’ll be strong. Charlie, Tom, Dylan, Reece, Alim – guys like that will probably need more game-time so we’ll look at that.
“We will be fairly strong again.”
It’s refreshing to hear a manager talk about one of the domestic cups as a trophy that a club would like to win.
The Checkatrade trophy, which is exclusive to the teams within in League One and League Two – with some developmental sides also competing, it is a great chance for the Mackems to bring back some success to the north-east.
Ross admitting that he will field a strong side for the match against Stoke’s Under-23 team is a good thing and he will be looking for his side to continue their fine start to the season, where they have been looking rather solid in League One.
Sunderland fans – thoughts?