Alex Neil has given a post-match update on injury issues on two defenders in the team and it’s bad news for Sunderland.
The Black Cats boss confirmed that Dennis Cirkin will be out for the last two games and gave an update (via Northern Echo) on Carl Winchester who was forced off the pitch against Cambridge early into the first half of the game.
“It’s an injury issue with Dennis. In terms of his return, providing we extend the season (get into the playoffs), then I’d be very hopeful that Dennis would play a part.”
“Winny has hurt his groin, but the extent of it, I can’t tell you at the moment,”
“If Dennis and Winny are going to be missing now, there may well be an opportunity for Callum to play.”
Losing two key players at such a crucial stage of the season will certainly be bad news for Sunderland supporters and the team ahead of their final push for a playoff spot for a chance at promotion to the Championship in the last two games.
The Mackems are currently fourth in the League One table following their win over Cambridge United, however, the top six is so tight that there is only a point difference in Sunderland’s current position and the seventh spot currently occupied by Sheffield Wednesday, who like Alex Neil’s side have an extra game to play compared to the rest of the top six.
Winchester has only missed four games over the entire season and has been heavily relied upon by his new manager since his arrival in February playing every single game in the eleven-game unbeaten run Sunderland are enjoying right now. Thus, his loss will definitely be felt in the team if he won’t be available to play in the remaining games.
Cirkin has just missed eight games this season due to groin surgery earlier in the campaign but has again been heavily involved in the success since Alex Neil’s arrival, playing the full 90 minutes in every single game the Scotsman has managed so far. That has seemingly taken its toll in the final throws of the season as he is likely to be completely ruled out for the rest of the term.
With that being said, losing two crucial players in the backline will surely be a devastating blow for the side but Neil will be hoping that Sunderland have enough to take them over the line to secure a playoff spot over the final games.