World News – GB – Gillingham vs Sunderland LIVE


Sunderland travel to Gillingham in hopes of returning to victory after suffering their first league loss of the season at Portsmouth and a frustrating draw with Rochdale

The Black Cats head into this afternoon’s game in hopes of finding a winning path after a tough week Phil Parkinson’s side suffered their first league loss of the season last weekend at home against Portsmouth, and was tied on his midweek trip to Rochdale

The Black Cats will be reluctant to slide further behind league leader Lincoln City, even if they still have a game in hand

Jordan Willis is in injury doubt, with Parkinson admitting the club were considering an injection for the defender to play through the pain barrier of a long-term knee injury

Loanee Dion Sanderson not considered a major doubt despite being knocked out in his midweek debut, while the Black Cats will be able to welcome Luke O’Nien into the lineup after his suspension

James Hunter is in Priestfield for us this afternoon to bring you all the latest news

Luke O’Nien missed the game on Tuesday due to a suspension, but came back to the side at the right winger, allowing Conor McLaughlin to move up to the bottom three with Dion Sanderson falling on the bench

Josh Scowen and Grant Leadbitter arrived in central midfield instead of Max Power and George Dobson

Power and Sanderson were on the bench, but there was no room in the day’s squad for Dobson or Jordan Willis – who had been on the bench at Rochdale – although both did travel

Phil Parkinson insists Sunderland needs to take his recent setbacks on the chin and stay calm as he continues his promotion

The Black Cats kept five sheets clean and were undefeated in their first six Championship games, but that run ended last weekend with a 3-1 loss at home to rivals Portsmouth promotion

This was followed by a 2-2 midweek draw at Rochdale, and although they are only one point off the two-point-per-game average considered the benchmark for promotion into this division, some fans began to question their credentials from the side

But Parkinson, who has twice led teams out of tier three and into the Championship, knows from experience that promotion-winning teams don’t get everything their way in League One

Sunderland is set to reunite with versatile Luke O’Nien this weekend after missing Rochdale’s game with a suspension following his red card against Portsmouth last Saturday

« Luke had a swollen ankle and probably wouldn’t have played even if he hadn’t been suspended on Tuesday, even though he was back in training today and that’s good news. » said Parkinson

Sunderland’s performances have been below par in the last two games, but Parkinson says they’ll need to be back to their best when they face a Gillingham fighter squad at Priestfield Stadium tomorrow

He said: « We have to accept that the teams improve their level of play when Sunderland comes to town and make sure we are prepared for it.

« I would love to be able to say that all we have to do is show up at Gillingham and everything will work out, but it doesn’t

« We have to be ready to roll up our sleeves, be ready to face another team that could increase their game by 10%, and get past that and play our game

« The loss at Portsmouth hit us, which every loss does, then we drew at Rochdale when in reality on the scales of the game we should have been sitting on the coach with three points

« We need to react to this, be calm and go to Gillingham with a clear understanding of what is needed »

« They have had a good start to the season and then indifferent results lately, but of course they will try to make the season as uncomfortable for us as possible and we have to be prepared for that

« It’s about finding the right balance between being physically strong enough to deal with long throws and set pieces and everything in between, but also making sure we have the calm to get the ball down and play. « 

Sunderland youths will have the chance to claim first-team spots as the Black Cats prepare for next month’s cup double

Players like Jack Diamond, Dan Neil and Ollie Younger have been on the bench for league games this season, but only Diamond has had any playing time.

These are the cup competitions where Phil Parkinson has tended to give his young players a chance to shine, with Diamond, Neil and Brandon Taylor starting both Black Cats games in the EFL Trophy

Sunderland fans are eager to see the club’s academy graduates given more opportunities at first-team level, and with Sunderland taking on Mansfield Town in the FA Cup first round next Saturday, followed by the last Trophy group game at Fleetwood the following Tuesday, Parkinson says they will have their chance

And Elliot Embleton, who is returning to form after missing the start of the season with a thigh injury, is also likely to be involved.

Wolves defenseman on loan Dion Sanderson made his Rochdale debut, but he also received a blow, despite completing the 90 minutes and not being considered a major doubt in the this weekend in Gillingham

Parkinson said: « Dion suffered a knee injury in the second half against Rochdale and we will assess that before the weekend

« At the time we were worried because we thought he had twisted his knee, but it turned out to be just a blow that impacted his nerve and luckily he was able to finish the match « 

A week ago Sunderland’s defensive ‘bedrock’, as Phil Parkinson called it, was as strong as it gets

Sunderland have scored five goals in their last two games – three botched goals against promotion rivals Portsmouth in this weekend’s loss, and now two more avoidable goals conceded in last night’s draw at Rochdale

Sunderland is considering whether to give Jordan Willis an injection to allow him to continue playing with the knee injury he has

The center-back missed the Black Cats’ midweek draw at Rochdale due to the problem, despite being an unused replacement at Spotland

And Phil Parkinson has revealed that the 26-year-old had a patellar tendon scan, and a decision will be made on whether to give Willis an injection

Sunderland AFC, Gillingham FC, Phil Parkinson, EFL League One, FA Cup

World news – UK – Gillingham vs Sunderland LIVE



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