Duncan Watmore available again for Sunderland

Duncan Watmore
Duncan Watmore

Duncan Watmore could make his competitive return from the bench at Norwich City, as Sam Allardyce considers his options for Sunderland’s crunch relegation clash.

Watmore has been back in full training ahead of schedule this week after recovering from the ankle ligament damage which has kept him sidelined since February’s draw at Liverpool.

He’ll come back in and run around like we know he can.

The 22-year-old will not be thrown into the starting XI in tomorrow lunchtime’s pivotal encounter against relegation rivals Norwich, but he is likely to be in the squad at Carrow Road.

And with Watmore offering a different option to any of the other players at Allardyce’s disposal, the Sunderland manager is ready to use him from the bench.

Allardyce said: “There’ll be no pressure on him because he’s been out for six or eight weeks.

“He’ll come back in and run around like we know he can. He could cause havoc at some stage in the last six games.

“He’s a great alternative. In a fully fit squad, this is another player with a different version of how you play the game.

“He’s got strengths that other players haven’t got.

“We won’t use him from the start at Norwich, but we may use him as a sub, depending on how he feels today after a full week’s training.”

Allardyce kept the same starting XI for back-to-back Stadium of Light games against West Brom and Leicester, but he has been experimenting with different personnel and systems in training this week.

But with so much riding on a game which could see Sunderland move to within a point of fourth bottom Norwich or fall seven points adrift, Allardyce is considering any changes carefully.