Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Dubai Trip Ends in Pitch Battle

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 to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp and a friendly. However, the game ended in a pitch battle between the two teams. 

We also have the latest on Ross Stewart’s contract, injury news, Sunderland’s own Lioness Jill Scott and could Manchester United recall Amad Diallo in January?

Sunderland Weekly Round-Up

Dubai Training Trip Ends in Pitch Battle During “Friendly”

With the club having a break from the Championship due to the World Cup, Sunderland and Tony Mowbray took the opportunity to take the squad to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp. Mowbray was appointed earlier this season and this gave him the opportunity to work with the players for a full week without interruption.

While in Dubai, several players who had been out injured, including star striker Ross Stewart stepped up their training in a bid to return to the first-team squad sooner rather than later. The Black Cats also played a friendly match; however, anyone who saw the game near the end will describe it as anything but friendly.

Sunderland won the game against Al-Shabab 1-0, Amad Diallo with the goal. The game, however, saw several flashpoints which culminated in melee after Lynden Gooch was confronted by an Al-Shabab player. Officials from both clubs were needed on the pitch to calm the players down and eventually the game restarted.

Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray spoke about the game and the melee. He said: “It was played at a real match tempo and from very early on there were a few meaty tackles going in.

“Both teams stood their ground and so what was a friendly and a decent football match became a game with a real competitive edge. It went a bit beyond where it should have done late on but we both agreed that we should make a few substitutions and calm the game down. That’s what we did and we ended up getting plenty out of it – it was good.”

Injury Latest

Sunderland appear to have suffered more than most with injuries so far this season. They have had to play games without a recognised striker and also with several other players missing, most notably in defence. The World Cup break came at a good time for the Black Cats giving the players a chance to recover.

Lynden Gooch, Dennis Cirkin and Aji Alese all returned from injury in the friendly against Al-Shabab last Friday and are in contention to rejoin the first-team squad for the Championship game against Millwall this Saturday.

Tony Mowbray gave an update on defender Dan Ballard and striker Ross Stewart. He said: Ross Stewart are obviously longer-term injuries, they aren’t far away. They’re on the grass, they’re training with their boots on, they’re just not in with the team all of the time at the moment. They won’t be too far away and that’s good.”

Ross Stewart’s Contract Latest

Star striker and top-scorer Ross Stewart is set to be out of contract at the club next summer; however, the Black Cats do have the option to extend his current deal by 12 months. Talks have been ongoing regarding a new long-term deal and Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman spoke to supporters recently. He said: “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.”

However, according to a tweet from Alan Nixon of the Sun, nothing is close.

Sunderland Born Former England International Crowned Queen of the Jungle

Former Sunderland and England midfielder Jill Scott was crowned Queen of the Jungle on Sunday. Sunderland-born Scott, who was recently given the freedom of the city and starred for the Lionesses for many years and helped them win the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, once again made her home city and the nation proud.

Speaking after winning the ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here’ finally, Scott spoke to the Sunderland Echo about her childhood watching her heroes. She said: “The Stadium of Light is so iconic. Growing up my fondest memories are inside that stadium.

I used to have a season ticket with my Grandad in the South-East corner and I used to watch my heroes: Kevin Phillips, Michael Gray, Niall Quinn. And I absolutely loved it.

“Going to the games on a Saturday and then playing my game on a Sunday and to think that we’re now going to be presenting girls with those dreams. It’s unreal, really!”

Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Manchester United Could Recall Winger in January

According to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United could look into recalling some of their players who are currently out on loan, including Amad Diallo. The winger has impressed on Wearside since joining and the club and their fans will be hoping that the 20-year-old will stay past the January transfer window.

United are short of attacking options now Cristiano Ronaldo has departed and they could see Diallo as a good option to have during the second half of the season.

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images