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Alex Neil provides update on key player at Sunderland

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Alex Pritchard has been one of the standout performers at Sunderland since Alex Neil replaced Lee Johnson in the dugout on Wearside.

Pritchard remained absent in Sunderland’s goalless draw at Plymouth Argyle on Monday, and the Black Cats are being very careful with their man management of him, to try and ensure that he is fit for the season defining encounters to come.

Alex Neil explained his approach to Pritchard’s recovery when he spoke to ChronicleLive.

He said: “Alex wasn’t quite right for this one – if he was, I would have had him down here, even on the bench.

“We didn’t have enough days to go through the process to have him back.

“What we couldn’t do is risk him.

“What we couldn’t afford to do is put him on for 20 minutes and then for him to break back down and be missing for next week.

“We are at a stage now where if you are out for any period of time, you miss the remaining games.

“But I’m very, very, hopeful that he will get a good week – or certainly three days – under his belt, and then let’s see how he goes for next weekend.”

Sunderland have put themselves in a very commanding position to finish in the top six, despite a resurgent run from Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers.

The Verdict

Quiz: What club do these 25 players from the Sunderland 2016/17 squad play for now?

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1. Jordan Pickford

The Chairboys have climbed above Sunderland into fifth recently on goal difference, but they have crucially played one game more than Neil’s men.

The Black Cats have two home games approaching, presenting a huge opportunity to cement their position in the play-offs, with Cambridge United and Rotherham United visiting the North East before a trip to Morecambe rounds off the campaign.

Sheffield Wednesday can nudge Sunderland out of the top six in victory over Crewe Alexandra this evening, for which they are heavy favourites for, but with a precious game in hand up their sleeves, the Black Cats should remain confident.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

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Article title: Alex Neil provides update on key player at Sunderland

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