Speaking to the club, he said: “In another couple of weeks, hopefully I will be back training in Dubai with the squad.
“It’s frustrating, I want to play every game. Hopefully in another couple of weeks.
“I am looking to get back out onto the grass some time this week. If it all goes to plan then I should be fit for after the break.
“It gives us the chance to get a lot of lads fit. Myself, Ross (Stewart), Dan Ballard, Aji (Alese), and Edouard (Michut) as well so there is quite a few of us. Hopefully we can all be fit after the break and make the squad really strong.”
Whilst the return of top goalscorer Ross Stewart may catch the eye, Gooch being available after the break should delight the Sunderland manager just as much as he was a crucial player prior to his injury blow.
The American gem may not be a standout performer but he was a consistent presence in the team and never let the side down in the opening months of the campaign.
He started all 14 of Sunderland’s first 14 matches in the Championship and averaged a solid SofaScore rating of 6.77. Gooch chipped in with one goal and one assist, whilst making 2.3 tackles and interceptions per game in that time and did not make a single direct error leading to an opposition shot or goal – as per SofaScore.
This came after he averaged the same SofaScore rating across 41 appearances in League One last term, with these statistics showing that he has been dependable for Mowbray, and Alex Neil before him, as he has put in consistent displays without being a liability at wing-back.
The Black Cats boss picked him in every starting XI prior to the American’s injury blow and this suggests that he was impressed by the academy graduate’s consistency and quality in the team. As a result, he will undoubtedly be delighted to have the 26-year-old back and available for selection after the break.
Gooch may not grab the headlines but you need consistent performers to keep the team ticking around the star performers who can go and win matches on their own, which is why his return will be a welcome one for the manager.