Sunderland await news on defender’s injury ahead of Wembley final against Portsmouth

Sunderland are sweating on the fitness of Adam Matthews for the Checkatrade Trophy final against Pompey.

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 10:36 am
Updated Sunday, 17th March 2019, 11:46 am
Sunderland defender Adam Matthews. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The defender limped off with a hamstring in the 67th minute of the Black Cats’ 2-1 victory over Walsall on Saturday.

Sunderland have no fixture next weekend because of the international break.

They’re back in action when they face Kenny Jackett’s troops at Wembley on Sunday, March 31 (2.30pm).

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Sunderland defender Adam Matthews. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Matthews has made 26 appearances for Sunderland this season during their promotion charge.

And boss Jack Ross is hopeful the full-back will be available for the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Asked about Matthews, injury, the Black Cats boss told the Sunderland Echo: ‘Hamstring. We will assess him and see how he is. It's not too bad I don't think.’

Sunderland closed the gap on the automatic promotion places to two points with a defeat of the Saddlers at the Stadium of Light.

The hosts fell behind after just four minutes when Josh Gordon broke the deadlock.

But goals from Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg either side of time ensured the Black Cats piled the pressure on second-placed Barnsley, who were held to a goalless draw with Doncaster on Friday.

Ross admitted he wasn’t happy with his side’s start to the game but saluted how they battled back.

He added: “We didn’t defend well in the early part of the game, didn’t defend the set piece well, in the early part – I was a wee bit critical and maybe overly critical because it isn’t easy for defenders in blustery conditions.

‘We didn't defend well throughout the first half but going forward we were good and created a number of opportunities.

‘Then to overcome that start and win was satisfying.’