Sunderland have been handed a quadruple boost ahead of their upcoming League One clash.
In recent comments cited by The Chronicle, Lee Johnson revealed that both Lee Burge and Corry Evans are available for the top of the table clash with Accrington Stanley on Saturday following their respective recoveries from injury, adding that deadline day additions Leon Dajaku and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann would also be available for selection.
Concerning Burge and Evans, the 40-year-old said: “Lee is fine. he has had a good two weeks’ training, he’s looked good, looked sharp. He’s in a good place.
“Corry is also in a decent place, to be fair. He has done really well, and we have used this as sort of a mini-pre-season for him, because don’t forget he missed a lot of pre-season proper, and we felt he was chasing minutes and games and that was probably what led to the hamstring tweak anyway.”
Regarding Dajaku and Hoffmann, Johnson said: “They are available, albeit they are in different circumstances. Both have looked good in training, and that’s good because obviously you want to see them first-hand and get to know what they are like as human beings.
“With both players, we are taking a long-term view but they are available tomorrow.”
Having seen his Sunderland team get their 2021/22 campaign off to a fantastic start, picking up 12 points from their opening five fixtures of the season, Johnson must be buzzing that he looks set to be able to call upon both Burge and Evans, as well as Dajaku and Hoffmann, for the clash against an equally impressive Accrington side.
Indeed, the goalkeeper impressed over his three League One appearances prior to his injury, making 2.3 saves per game and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.97; while the return of Evans -who Johnson dubbed “such an important player” for Sunderland – is clearly another massive boost for the 40-year-old.
Furthermore, while it would appear less certain as to whether either of Dajaku and Hoffmann will feature against Accrington, their availability will nevertheless be a further plus for Johnson, who will be spoiled for choice when putting together his matchday squad this afternoon.
As such, the Mackems look in very good shape going into what is bound to be a challenging test against John Coleman’s second-placed side, with the Black Cats having a real opportunity today to demonstrate to the rest of the league that they mean business this season.