Gus Poyet’s main fitness headache will inevitably revolve around whether Wes Brown can make his third successive first-team start.
Brown has trained during the international break and was given a lighter session yesterday to ensure he avoided any last-gasp problems ahead of the crunch relegation clash with fourth bottom Stoke.
Gus Poyet: “We’ve followed the plan with Wes and the medical staff have been excellent.
“He’s trained 99 per cent every day.
“We looked after him a bit yesterday because of the amount of days he’s been training.
“But he’s done the ugliest and hardest part.
“The problem with Wes is he wants to train and sometimes it’s us who are telling him to settle down.
“He’s been away so long that he wants to be part of it.
“He doesn’t want to be in the gym again because he’s been there for almost two years.
“But he’s experienced so when you tell him to take it easy, he does.
“Yesterday was the day to take it easy a little bit.”