Luke O’Nien suffered a blow to the ribs in Football League Trophy action on Tuesday evening and the hardworking midfielder will have an X-ray on the injury today.
Lee Johnson justified his reasons for bringing O’Nien on as he fielded a youthful team in the Black Cats’ 2-1 win at Lincoln City.
It is a relief that Sunderland are not in league action until 16th October and Johnson also expressed some regret for making the substitution when he spoke to ChronicleLive.
He said: “(A) Disaster from me, in terms of the decision to put him on, in hindsight. I wanted to see the game out for the young players.
“They deserved there win and I felt it was better to become more senior as the game went on and they had to deal with various problems.
“So I stuck Luke (O’Nien) on in that sort of pressing position and he just caught one on the rib. He is in quite a bit of pain to be honest with you but he’ll get X-rayed in the morning.”
O’Nien has been a crucial player for the Black Cats in recent years probably the main shining of their time in League One. Even with the excellent start to the season they have made the 26-year-old’s absence would hit the team hard.
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Manager’s often have dilemmas when deciding how seriously to take Football League Trophy matches. Sunderland won the competition last season but it ended up affecting their form in the league which is always going to be the priority.
Johnson will be desperate for himself and the supporters to not have to deal with the stress and anxiety of the play-offs this season and finish in the top two but an injury crisis would complicate things.
Black Cats supporters will be nervously waiting for the results of the X-ray with O’Nien a key cog in the automatic promotion push on Wearside.