Simon Grayson expects Aiden McGeady to be in and around the Sunderland squad for tomorrow’s visit to Hull City but the Black Cats will be without striker Lewis Grabban.
The Sunderland boss has been sweating on the availability of his two key men in attack as he prepares his team to take on Leonid Slutsky’s side at the KCOM Stadium in Saturday’s 3pm kickoff.
McGeady has missed Sunderland’s last two games with a hamstring injury he picked up on international duty with the Republic of Ireland whilst Grabban limped off in the 37th minute on Tuesday night as the Black Cats were beaten by Nottingham Forest.
The Bournemouth man on loan at the Stadium of Light this season looks set to miss several weeks of the campaign.
Sunderland have only scored once in their last four outings with a sequence of successive defeats heaping pressure on Grayson. Defence has also proved to be a problem with seven goals shipped in a run in which the Black Cats have shot themselves in the foot with regularity.
Simon Grayson hopes to be able to select centre-half Lamine Kone who should be available after limping off at half time against Forest on Tuesday night.
McGeady has weighed in with a goal and two assists since his summer switch from Everton while Grabban opened his Sunderland stint with three strikes in his opening pair of appearances but has failed to find the net in the last five.
Fellow striker James Vaughan - signed from Bury in July - has yet to open his account for the Black Cats, failing to find the net in seven league games.
On Sunderland’s lack of goals in the opening stages of the Championship campaign, Grayson continues to insist he expects those behind the front men to weigh in:
Everyone has to contribute and chip in. It goes with the confidence. Things are just going past the post in key moments of the game.
Tomorrow’s opponents Hull have hit ten goals in their opening three games at home, whacking four past both Burton and Bolton.
The game will reacquaint Sunderland with former stalwart Sebastian Larsson. The Swede has featured in each of the Tigers first six games of the season and is likely to face his old side tomorrow.
Sunderland find themselves fifth bottom of the Championship but can leapfrog the Tigers who are currently sitting in 16th place, two points ahead, with a victory at the KCOM tomorrow.