Sunderland head into their EFL Trophy Final with Tranmere Rovers on Sunday full of confidence.
The Mackems are now fourth in the league and have won seven of their last eight outings, so this weekend should prove to be a nice little distraction.
That being said, Lee Johnson’s team have been handed some cruel injury news. The manager revealed during his Friday press conference that Bailey Wright would not be fit to take to the field at Wembley this weekend.
The boss provided an update on the fitness of Aiden O’Brien, who was taken off after an hour against Portsmouth last Tuesday, saying: “We’ll have a look at Aiden. We’ll try and leave it as long as possible.”
However, most devastating was news of Jordan Jones. Johnson added: “We’re not sure about Jordan – he’s a bit like Aiden. We’ll give him a fitness test, but he is probably less likely to be available.”
This is nothing short of a colossal injury blow. The Mackems have been able to deal without Wright with Luke O’Nien and Dion Sanderson at the back, as they have kept five clean sheets in their last six outings.
Though, Jones has just started to thrive in a Sunderland shirt. The Rangers loanee was initially given brief cameo appearances from the bench after arriving in January but he’s been nothing short of exceptional in recent games.
Jones has contributed to five goals in his last six outings, particularly impressing in his last two starts against Rochdale and Portsmouth. He supplied a delicious ball for Charlie Wyke’s goal against Dale before scoring when they travelled to Pompey in midweek.
He was a player who had the potential to be crucial in London this weekend, so missing him could be a massive blow to their ambitions.
Johnson has already been left to tear his hair out over numerous injury blows this season. This issue could just be his most disappointing one yet.