The latest edition of the Sunderland weekly round-up takes a look at the latest news from the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats headed into the World Cup break with an important away victory at Birmingham City with Manchester United loanee earning many of the accolades.
While the World Cup is ongoing, Sunderland will be hoping to clear their injury list and return to action in December with a fully fit squad. We also have the latest on the ongoing contract talks between the club and top scorer Ross Stewart and the rumours linking Sunderland with Blackburn Rovers star Bradley Dack.
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Diallo the Star Man, Plus Injury, Transfer and Contract News
— Sunderland Echo SAFC (@sunechosafc) November 11, 2022
Diallo Finds Form and Receives Man of the Match at Birmingham City
The latest Sunderland weekly round-up begins with Amad Diallo’s man-of-the-match performance at Birmingham City. Tony Mowbray and his patched-up squad headed into the World Cup break with an important victory at St Andrew’s.
With Sunderland’s injury list stretching Mowbray’s squad to the limits, they were also without the versatile Luke O’Nien through suspension. Trai Hume returned to the side to replace O’Nien while Niall Huggins playing his first game for over a year due to injury replaced the injured Dennis Cirkin at left-back.
Chances came the way of both teams in the early stages but it was Sunderland who broke the deadlock. Amad Diallo, on loan from Manchester United, used his close control to evade the challenges of several defenders before playing the ball through to Ellis Simms who fired the ball into the far corner of the goal.
Searching for an equaliser after halftime, Birmingham left space in defence. Sunderland broke with Diallo receiving the ball on the right wing. The forward headed towards the goal, cutting inside and curling the ball past the defender and into the far corner.
The home side pulled a goal back late on but some heroic defending and goalkeeping from the Black Cats secured the three points.
Tony Mowbray Delighted With Talented Diallo
Following the win at Birmingham, head coach Tony Mowbray was delighted with the performance of Amad Diallo. He said: “Amad came to the party for us – and I feel he’s really settling in with the group.
“There’s an understanding now that this kid has got real talent and deserves to be respected within the team. For me to pick him over Patrick Roberts… I sat in a press room a couple of weeks ago and said I didn’t think there was a better player in the league than Roberts and yet tonight I’ve left him out.
“Amad has been unbelievable in training, so fast with his feet and direct, and his physical data from all our recent games has been incredible. He scored a wonderful goal, and we see him do that every day in training.”
Sunderland Squad Could be Back to Full Strength for Next Home Game
Tony Mowbray has had his fair share of injuries to deal with since becoming Sunderland’s head coach earlier this season. The Black Cats were forced to play several games without a recognised striker and have had multiple defensive issues. However, the break for the upcoming World Cup has come at a good time for those who have been missing.
Top scorer Ross Stewart has returned to training though not with the rest of his teammates. The same applies to defender Dan Ballard. Fellow central defender Aji Alese, injured in the recent game at Blackburn Rovers is expected to return in time for the next game at home to Milwall on December 3rd.
The versatile Lynden Gooch who has missed the last five games with a foot injury is expected to return to training during the World Cup break when Sunderland fly to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp. Other first-team absentees Dennis Cirkin and midfielder Edouard Michut are also set to return to training in Dubai. Luke O’Nien will also be back in contention for the Millwall game having served his suspension.
Players Head to the World Cup
Sunderland will be represented by two current players at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Defender Bailey Wright and winger Jewison Bennette have been called up by Australia and Costa Rica.
Wright, who has been capped 27 times by Australia will face a tough task to qualify from their group. The Socceroos face France and then Tunisia before their final group game against Denmark.
18-year-old winger Jewison Bennette’s journey to the World Cup has been a quick one. He made his debut for Costa Rica in August 2021 and has gone on to play seven times, scoring twice. In between making his international debut and heading to Qatar, Bennette made the switch from his native country to England and Sunderland for a reported £1 million during the summer transfer window.
Like Australia, Costa Rica face a tough group. They face Spain, Germany and Japan in the battle to qualify for the next round.
Ross Stewart Contract Negotiations Ongoing
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman met with Sunderland supporters and were asked about the current situation regarding Ross Stewart’s contract. The forward’s current deal runs out next summer; however, the club have the option to extend the deal by a further 12 months. It is hoped that Stewart and Sunderland can come to an agreement over a new long-term deal.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said: “We are having ongoing conversations and we’re all hopeful that it will lead to a successful outcome.” While Kristjaan Speakman added: “These types of discussions often get portrayed as very polarising, it’s either that the club won’t pay the money or that the player doesn’t love the club etc. Neither of those things are true. It’s a negotiation, it’s a process.”
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Move for Blackburn Rovers Star Unlikely
Sunderland have been linked in recent weeks with Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bradley Dack. Tony Mowbray managed the player at Ewood Park where they both had success. However, serious injuries have halted Dack’s career. Despite the injuries, the player is now fit but is struggling for regular first-team football.
When asked by the Sunderland Echo about the rumours Mowbray said: “I love Bradley Dack, an amazing guy and two years ago he was some player for me.
“I hadn’t seen that, but what I can tell you is there has been no contact to the football club. Bradley I would imagine is not happy because he’s not playing and two years ago he was probably the best player in the Championship.
“But he has had two cruciate injuries since then. Bradley is I think 28, does that fit the profile of what the club is trying to do? I’d think [signing him] is very unlikely, and the financial aspect of it is very definitely unlikely.”