Sunderland manager Jack Ross will not be making sweeping changes this weekend, as his side come to terms with finishing outside the top two.
They’ve little left to play for against Southend this weekend, but know beyond that there’s a crucial play-off semi-final to attack and maybe another Wembley appearance.
Their opponents this weekend do need a result, they’re not safe from relegation and could slip out of League One. That, coupled with another significant reason, is why the manager won’t be making sweeping changes.
“Partly, there are guidelines about the changes you can make – and rightly so, because you have to be respectful of the whole league and Southend are in a position where they have a lot to play for,” he told the Chronicle Live.
“Also, I’ve got a squad that has a lot to play for as well because they will want to be involved in these play-off games. We’ve got some bumps and bruises from the Fleetwood game, as you can imagine, and there are some players who have played a lot this month, so we will have to take that into consideration.
“But we will play the strongest team we possibly can.”
A win for the Black Cats could see them finish third, which would bring either Doncaster or Peterborough in the play-offs. If they fail to win then the likely opponents will be either Portsmouth or Charlton.
This is going to be a dead rubber of sorts for Sunderland and with injuries they’re patched up anyway.
There might be guideline as to who they can play, but risking the likes of McGeady wouldn’t be wise with such a huge pair of matches coming up after the season has concluded.
Ross will be sensible, even if he does have a structure to work within.
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