Mick McCarthy has hinted that Jeff Whitley might take part in tomorrow night’s match against Ipswich Town.
Paul Thirlwell picked up a calf injury in the 2-0 defeat of Reading at the weekend and is unlikely to be fit, and Sean Thornton will be serving a one match ban.
McCarthy said today, “Considering we seemed to have loads of numbers in that department, we’re a bit stretched, but I’ll have Jeff Whitley and Grant Leadbitter in the squad”.
The tractor boys, meanwhile, are upbeat ahead of the match, following their win against Watford at the weekend. They have loan midfielder Alan Mahon back in their squad after a thigh injury; manager Joe Royle has already named his squad for tomorrow, which includes Chris Bart-Williams, Pablo Counago, Jim Magilton and Fabian Wilnis. Former SAFC right-back Chris Makin is not named in the squad.
Royle said today, “We’ll be going there to win the game. Sunderland are a massive club and the atmosphere will be electric but we won’t be going there looking to settle for a point.”
And the Horses’ boss refuted rumours that he wanted to take former Ipswich star Marcus Stewart back to Portman Road on loan. Stewart scored 37 goals in just over two years for Ipswich and was a crowd favourite amongst the supporters at Portman Road, moving to Sunderland in August 2002. Royle said “Marcus is a player I admire, but this loan interest was never the case. Marcus is in the first team at Sunderland and there’s no way anything was going to happen with that.
“Marcus’ great strength is in his brain. It will be a good challenge for our central defensive pair.”
The Ipswich squad will train in Middlesbrough prior to Tuesday evening’s match at facilities arranged for them by Steve McLaren.