Sunderland’s season has been a topsy-turvy affair.
Is that really very surprising? It shouldn’t be if you’re familiar with what’s happened in the last five years.
The Black Cats suffered back to back relegations and try as they might, they can’t seem to get out of League One.
Their ambitions of doing so took another meaty blow this week, too.
Ahead of Sunderland’s clash with Fleetwood on Friday evening Phil Parkinson delivered some frustrating news in his pre-match press conference.
Speaking to the north-east media, he confirmed that Lynden Gooch had picked up an ankle injury.
Parkinson said: “He’ll have an injection tomorrow [Friday] which we hope will speed up that recovery, but we are probably looking at between two and four weeks without Lynden.”
The manager continued: “That’s a blow because he has been exceptional for us this season, but we have to take the advice of the specialist and make sure that Lynden is right and he is flying for us when he comes back.”
The attacking midfielder has been Sunderland’s most consistent performer in the final third so losing him will be a bitter loss.
Who Sunderland see as their Gooch replacement in the next few weeks remains to be seen. There have been hints that Elliott Embleton could make a return and play more regularly but this injury may have just handed a lifeline to someone else on the fringes at the Stadium of Light.
That happens to be Aiden McGeady.
Parkinson’s views on the Irishman are quite clear. He transfer listed the winger last season and banished him from the senior squad. With that in mind, it looked as though he’d played his final game for the Mackems.
However, McGeady started for the U23s at the beginning of last week and could well make a first-team return in the future.
Parkinson seemed more positive about the 34-year-old’s chances when questioned about his surprise outing this week, stating: “He came back [this season] with a couple of niggly problems, he has had an injection in his knee which then needed rest, and then we have put together a programme for him similar to the one the lads did in pre-season to get him up to speed.
“I’ve just said to Aiden ‘let’s get you fit, then we’ll sit down and assess everything’, because until he is fit and flying, there’s no discussion to be had really.”
Therefore, for McGeady to even be considered before Gooch comes back he’ll need to get fit.
Playing 60 odd minutes was a good start and if he does prove his sharpness, there is no question he has to be picked. After all, this is someone with unquestionable ability, someone previously described by Neil Lennon as a “mercurial talent.”
It would be a shame to waste him.
In other news, Sunderland could soon discover their NEW Didier Ndong…