After Sunderland’s humbling 5-1 defeat at Rotherham United on Saturday, Lee Johnson is going to fall back on players that he knows will leave everything out on the pitch at Hillsborough.
The Black Cats have fallen away from the automatic promotion places with back-to-back losses and look to stop the rot at Hillsborough against a Sheffield Wednesday side who are unbeaten in their last six in all competitions.
Darren Moore’s men are under pressure to climb the table as well with the expectations from the stands possibly the highest in League One on the two teams in this encounter.
Johnson explained his selection considerations when he spoke to ChronicleLive.
He said: “I can guarantee that the XI that starts will be the ones that, when I go to sleep at night, I’m going to trust to run around, to sprint, to tackle, and will use their physicality the best that they possibly can, and that if it doesn’t go right for them for two or three passes, they are going to continue to be brave and get on the ball.”
To deploy a tactic like Johnson alluded to they will need leaders all over the pitch, that could see a return to the starting XI for experienced centre back Bailey Wright.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Sunderland academy players ever played in the Premier League?
Sunderland are still only one point off the pace of the top two in League One and have a game in hand on the four sides above them in the table. Playing away from home suits the Black Cats after the two disappointing results with Wednesday desperate to take maximum points in order to close the current five point gap between themselves and sixth place.
One positive from the weekend was that Ross Stewart continued his excellent goalscoring form and the Scotsman could be a difference maker once again in this matchup. The Owls have been involved in score draws in their last four on the bounce and Tuesday evening’s encounter should be equally as entertaining.