Sunderland are in a particularly good place right now. They sit third in League One and have just won their first trophy since the 1970s.
It’s timely that all of this is occurring with new owners at the helm. The Mackems have been full of negative distractions in recent years, primarily at board level.
However, those issues have now been eradicated. Unfortunately, they still have problems on the field of play.
That happens to be in terms of their injuries. Tom Flanagan suffered another blow in the EFL Trophy final but, speaking this week, Lee Johnson delivered further bad news ahead of their clash with Lincoln.
He told reporters: “First to return [from those injured] will probably be O’Brien, then Jordan.
“Bailey Wright is a bit of a frustrating one, we maybe pushed him a bit too early to try and make the final and that has just set him back a little I think.”
Sunderland have kept five clean sheets in a row, so being without Wright isn’t a huge blow. That being said, consistent setbacks and injuries to various members of the team should be incredibly worrying for Johnson.
The New Year period was also rough for the club. Hume suffered a further setback, and now Flanagan has too.
On a repeated basis, those who are on the treatment table seem to pick up more injuries that delay their return to the team.
Prior to his spell on the sidelines, Wright was crucial. The Australian had played in every single game in the league besides the 2-2 draw with Gillingham in January. Unfortunately, he has now missed seven straight league outings.
If Sunderland want a boost to their promotion chances, having Wright back will be crucial.