Sunderland AFC team news: David Moyes looks to strike right balance after Duncan Watmore blow

David Moyes is aiming to strike the right balance in his Sunderland side after losing Duncan Watmore for the rest of the campaign.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 2:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:36 pm
Duncan Watmore has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The England Under-21 international has been ruled out for the season after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage in the 2-1 win over Leicester City.

Watmore had established himself as a key member of the Sunderland team in recent weeks, with his energy and pace down the right wing stretching the opposition.

Moyes has options for the game against basement side Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, with Adnan Januzaj, Wahbi Khazri and Seb Larsson vying for a start.

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Fabio Borini will also travel with the squad to south Wales and could return to the bench but he is some weeks away from full fitness.

Moyes admits striking the right balance will be key, as he considers tweaking the way Sunderland are set up in order to make the best of the personnel available.

"It is a really unfortunate injury for Duncan because he has done so well.

"He also has a couple of tears in his cartilage which may make his recovery a little bit slower.

"For him, it is really disappointing because he had come into the team, become a regular and was settling down as a Premier League footballer.

"With him being young and hopefully a quick healer he will be back and we are looking forward to that certainly by the start of next season.

"He went a little bit unnoticed in the scheme of things because he was able to take us up the park with his running, put the opposition on the back foot.

"We also knew he was a great team player and would do a lot of work for the team.

"To get that balance right won't be easy. During the season you tend to have to find one or two different teams as the season goes on.

"We have come across one that is going well. With Duncan out we are now going to have to find another one."

Another option open to Moyes is to play summer signing Didier Ndong in a wider role against Bob Bradley's Swansea side.

"We may need to play slightly different and alter the system to accommodate," added Moyes.

"Adnan, Wahbi are an option, Seb Larsson too.

"Didier Ndong can play wider if we need him to as well if we wanted to introduce another sitting midfielder.

"We will look at all the options. The way we are talking shows the importance of Duncan and we will miss him.

"I'm not superstitious but I do know it is important to get the tweaks and changes to the team correct."