GUS POYET is likely to pick a physically imposing side at Hull City tonight – which could spell a recall for fit-again Jack Rodwell.
Poyet has a couple of selection dilemmas for the visit to the KC Stadium; principally how to replace the suspended Adam Johnson, although Ricky Alvarez is available after missing Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United with a knock.
We need to pick a proper team - men, powerful players who are fit enough to play 90 minutes
Wes Brown is in the squad after his one-match ban was rescinded by the FA yesterday, albeit the 35-year-old has struggled to feature in quick-fire games so far this season.
But the biggest boost to Sunderland boss Poyet may be the return of £10million midfielder Rodwell after the ex-Manchester City man spent all of February on the sidelines with a groin problem.
Poyet expects a typical scrappy relegation battle between two sides lying in the bottom six, and that could see 6ft 2in Rodwell recalled.
“We need to pick a proper team - men, powerful players who are fit enough to play 90 minutes,” said Poyet.
“Maybe there’s going to be a couple of changes, but not too many because we need to respect our shape and the way we’ve been trying to play.
“Apart from that, it’s going to be an intense game and it’s easier when you start well.
“I think we need to start strong.
“The style of Hull and the nerves in this important game for both teams is going to make it very competitive.
“We need to win the battles, be stronger than them and be better than them. If there’s one chance each way, we need to make sure that we score it.
“No mistakes, no red cards, everything needs to be on our side.
“At the end of the game, we need to tick all the boxes for things that are better than the opposition.
“I said the other day, that it’s time.
“We need to be better. There’s no excuses.”