The latest edition of the Sunderland Weekly round-up looks back on the latest news from the Stadium of Light. Victory over two games against Sheffield Wednesday sees the Black Cats Wembley bound. They will be backed by a huge following at Wembley when they face Wycombe Wanderers in the final on May 21. We also have the latest transfer and injury news.
Black Cats Wembley Visit Plus Latest News From Wearside
Black Cats Wembley Bound Following Victory
Following two nail-biting games against Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland prevailed 2-1 on aggregate to reach the final. It sees Black Cats Wembley clash to face Wycombe Wanderers with at present, almost 45,000 fans travelling from the North East to London to cheer on their team.
A Ross Stweart goal saw Sunderland take a slender 1-0 lead to Hillsborough for the second leg. It took Wednesday until the 74th minute to make a breakthrough and make the tie level on aggregate. However, Sunderland have become known for their ability to score late goals and they did so again. Former Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts scored in the 93rd minute to win the game for the Black Cats and seal their place at Wembley.
Lynden Gooch Attracting Interest
According to BBC South TV and Radio Sports Reporter Andrew Moon, Portsmouth are interested in Lynden Gooch should he become available. Gooch has been an important part of Sunderland’s run to the League One play-off final under head coach Alex Neil, who was appointed in February. The American has had a difficult time on Wearside in recent seasons finding consistent form hard to come by; however, since Neil took charge, Gooch has been one of the most consistent performers earning praise for his performances and his versatility.
Gooch is one of several players out of contract this summer on Wearside with the club waiting until after the play-off final before entering into contract talks. Should Sunderland win to play Championship football next season, they will be in a better position to keep their better players.
Alex Neil Talks Transfers
All connected with Sunderland will be hoping that they will be a Championship club once again next season. Regardless of the division, head coach Alex Neil will want to add to his squad and hopefully keep certain players from leaving.
Neil spoke recently about the club’s transfer policy and his own standards. He told the Chronicle: “Providing you have an influence on what you want to do with the club and to take the club forward, that’s the biggest thing for me. I’m not power-hungry by any means, but I have standards that need to be adhered to and if they are not, that’s not going to be acceptable.”
Carl Winchester is expected to miss out at Wembley as he continues to recover from a groin issue sustained in the recent 5-1 win over Cambridge United.
On-loan winger Leon Dajaku has returned to training and could be available for the final. Dajaku, on loan from German club Union Berlin, has been missing since March through illness and returned to Germany to recover. He has however returned to Sunderland and is back training.
In-form striker Nathan Broadhead missed the majority of the playoff semifinal due to injury, coming on late in the second leg. However, the on-loan Everton forward now has time before the final to regain fitness in what is a huge game for the club.