Sunderland travel to Portsmouth this week as they aim to protect a one-goal lead with a place in the League One play-off final at stake.
The Black Cats ran out 1-0 winners against Pompey in the first-leg, with Chris Maguire’s goal proving to be the difference between the two sides on the night.
Jack Ross’ side were impressive in the win, and that was without a key duo who didn’t feature in the hard-fought result which sees Sunderland take an advantage into the second-leg.
Aiden McGeady was named in the starting XI for the first-leg, but pulled up in the warm-up, which ruled him out of the game which will have lead to concerns about his fitness for the return fixture.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Jack Ross issued an update on the Irishman’s fitness ahead of the game.
“It’s the same as before with Aiden (McGeady). We’ve made a decision on each game and we will do the same going into this match.
“We will make a sensible decision over the next day or so.”
The Black Cats boss also revealed that Duncan Watmore could return to action earlier than planned, which will provide Ross with a welcome selection dilemma heading into their biggest game of the season so far.
Duncan’s ahead of schedule and has looked bright in training. It gives us something else to ponder going into Thursday night.
It’s certain to be a closely-fought encounter between the two sides at Fratton Park on Thursday evening, with a place at Wembley in the offering for the winner.
What a promising update this is.
McGeady in particular has been key as to why Sunderland are challenging for promotion this season, and without him, you have to feel as though Jack Ross’ side wouldn’t be in the play-offs.
Watmore’s fitness update will certainly provide Jack Ross with a welcome selection dilemma heading into their biggest game of the season so far.