Sunderland Manager Issues Deadline Day Signing Update

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray has confirmed he will be without injured duo Pierre Ekwah and Dennis Cirkin for tomorrow night’s trip to Blackburn Rovers, whilst new signing Nazariy Rusyn is still unavailable due to ongoing visa issues.

The Black Cats head to Ewood Park on the back of a four game unbeaten run consisting of three wins and a draw. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Wearside club, who struggled to kick into gear in the opening few games. Having only scored four goals in their first four outings, which included a 0-0 draw with Coventry City, Sunderland have responded by hitting eight in the last two with a 5-0 win over Southampton and a 3-1 victory away at Queens Park Rangers.

This form has seen them move above tomorrow’s opponents into seventh place as Mowbray targets a second successive Championship promotion push.

Mowbray could welcome Bradley Dack back into the fold to face his former club, but the 59-year-old confirmed that both Ekwah and Cirkin will be unavailable for the tie. Speaking to the media, the former Rovers boss said;

“Dennis (Cirkin) is going to be a few weeks. He will potentially be back after the next international break (in October).

“Pierre (Ekwah), he has a haematoma or a dead leg. Within five minutes of the game starting (at QPR), he got another bang and it was too sore for him.

“It is quite swollen so he probably needs around ten days to let it settle down. We don’t have any huge concerns about it but he will miss a game or two.”

Elsewhere, Ukrainian striker Nazariy Rusyn joined Sunderland from Zorya Lugansk on transfer deadline day, but is yet to feature for the club due to ongoing visa issues. Mowbray confirmed that the 24-year-old will once again be unavailable tomorrow, but insisted there is light at the end of the tunnel;

“Rusyn still hasn’t got his visa so he is not going to travel for this one but we will get to that point.

“There was every expectation that it was going to be here this morning but we went out to training, came back in and it is still not here.

“It is a little bit frustrating for him but he is happy to do some training. He needs to get up to speed as he hasn’t played a game for three or four weeks.”

Writer’s View

Tony Mowbray was without Dennis Cirkin for the win over QPR at the weekend, whilst Pierre Ekwah only lasted 14 minutes before his withdrawal. Sunderland still managed a comfortable win and the manager will be confident that he has enough numbers to continue the good form here.

He will be disappointed to still not have Nazariy Rusyn at his disposal, particularly because he is expected to fill the gap left by the departed Ross Stewart. However, it looks to only be a matter of weeks before he dons the red and white shirt for the first time and positive times look to be on the horizon at the Stadium of Light.

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