Sunderland face a tricky test as they travel to take on Shrewsbury Town this evening.
After a disappointing 2-2 draw with MK Dons over the weekend there’s a real need for the Black Cats to pick up a positive result as they look to put the pressure on the play-off places.
The Shrews will pose a tough test and for Lee Johnson there’s a real need to manage his squad effectively as they continue to work their way through a rather hectic schedule.
Injury concerns are playing their part and that’s why the Sunderland boss has some big decisions to ponder.
Here are some of the dilemmas that he faces.
A patched-up defence
With Callum McFadzean and Tom Flanagan doubtful for game it means that Lee Johnson’s hands could be tied.
Jake Vokins slotted in at left back against MK Dons while Jordan Willis partnered Bailey Wright in the centre of defence for that game.
After conceding two goals against the Dons the temptation could be to change things up, but with options limited it could be a bit of a dilemma for Johnson.
Quiz: Were each of these 20 former Sunderland players left or right footed?
Controlling the middle of the park
One area where Lee Johnson has plenty of options is in the centre of midfield.
Luke O’Nien and Grant Leadbitter started against MK Dons, but with Josh Scowen also fit and ready to play it means that there could be a decision to make.
O’Nien might be a better option in terms of chasing the game, but if Johnson is looking to solidify then he may need to consider putting Scowen in alongside the Sunderland skipper.
The battle between Jordan Jones and Aiden McGeady
The January transfer window has seen Sunderland blessed with a number of creative options.
Jordan Jones arrived at the club and has been competing with Aiden McGeady for that role on the left flank – however there’s a case for saying that both players should be starting.
Whether Johnson can squeeze both players into his side remains to be seen, but if the duo did start there’s clearly a concern about supporting the defence and whether the back line would be overly exposed.