Sbragia prays for safe returns

25 March 2009 02:33
Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia is hoping his international stars will be returned to him in one piece.[LNB] A posse of Black Cats players have headed off with their respective countries this week, with 2010 World Cup qualifiers back on the agenda.[LNB]That means first-teamers such as Marton Fulop, Craig Gordon, George McCartney, Paul McShane, Tal Ben-Haim, Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards and David Healy are all running the injury gauntlet.[LNB]Most of those mentioned will be in action twice over the course of the next week, doubling their risk of picking up a knock.[LNB]Those fortunate enough to come through their international endeavours unscathed will then face a tough Premier League test against West Ham upon their return to the Stadium of Light.[LNB]ProblemThe likes of Edwards and Jones, who are away with Trindiad & Tobago, will not arrive back on Wearside until 24 hours before the Hammers clash, and Sbragia admits the situation he faces is far from ideal.[LNB]"It's a problem - it's a problem for everybody," he said.[LNB]"We have got a couple of players coming back late on the Friday before West Ham, so we have to sit back and see how it goes and pray they don't get injuries.[LNB]"We can do a bit on the Thursday afternoon, but there are a couple missing - we don't see them until Friday - so it is a problem.[LNB]"We have to see how they do and make a decision on whether we think the journey might have been too much for them and pick a team we think can get something at West Ham."[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports