Bannan ‘ready to play at Sunderland’

Barry Bannan says he is ready to continue his comeback from injury with a second game in three days at Sunderland on Easter Monday.

Bannan returned to the starting line-up in the 4-1 win over Preston on Good Friday and played for 78 minutes before being substituted. The midfielder said he was tiring at that stage and it was his decision to come off, fearing he might pick up a late injury in his first game back.

However, he says he is fit and ready for Monday’s game at the Stadium of Light while Jos Luhukay also has to decide whether to give another long-term absentee – Fernando Forestieri – a starting place against Sunderland.

Forestieri replaced Bannan for the last 12 minutes of the Preston match and crowned his return with a 20-yard free kick in added time to complete Wednesday’s victory.

George Boyd may also come into consideration after sitting out the Preston game while there could be doubts over Sam Hutchinson who picked up an injury on Friday and was subbed at half time.

Wednesday go into the game looking for a third successive win to continue our move away from the threat of relegation but the head-to-head history against the Black Cats is not exactly on our side.

We have not won in our last nine league visits to Sunderland, the most recent victory on Wearside coming way back in August 1969 at Roker Park when we triumphed 2-1 with goals from Tommy Craig and Peter Eustace, and we have won just once in our last 13 league clashes with them, David Hirst and Dejan Stefanovic netting in a 2-1 success at Hillsborough in March 1997.


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