Sunderland appear set for a big injury lift over 20-year-old gem Dennis Cirkin…
They secured their place in the top six with a win over Morecambe at the weekend and will now face the Owls in the semi-finals as they attempt to book a place at Wembley for the final.
When asked whether or not the defender will be fit for the clash, Neil said: “I would hope so, but I can’t really commit to anything right now – I don’t know what the answer is. Let’s say he has a chance, it’s not one of those where we can just say he’s out.”
Sunderland supporters will surely be buzzing with these quotes from the manager, as they suggest that the full-back could be back in contention to play on Friday night.
Having Cirkin back would be a huge boost to the side, as he has proven himself to be a reliable option in the Black Cats; defence. He came into the campaign as an inexperienced youth player after joining from Premier League side Tottenham and has enjoyed an excellent first season in senior football.
In League One this term, he has started 31 matches for Sunderland and averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.77. He has consistently delivered good displays in the third tier whilst being asked to play at full-back and centre-back by both Lee Johnson and Neil throughout 2021/22.
Sunderland are unbeaten in his last 10 appearances for the club, and he has played at left-back in a back four and as a left centre-back in a back three in that time. This shows his versatility as he has been able to play in multiple positions in the defence, which gives Neil the option to switch up his formation for specific games, depending on how the opposition are going to line up.
Therefore, having Cirkin back on Friday night would be a big boost for the Black Cats because of his quality, consistency and versatility. He is an excellent option for the head coach to call upon, and the fans will be buzzing to hear that he has not been ruled out of the clash with Darren Moore’s side as of yet.