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Sunderland V Hull at Stadium of Light : Match Preview

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07 Feb 2014 19:01:00

Sunderland V Hull at Stadium of Light : Match Preview

Sunderland V Hull - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Cattermole makes Black Cats return

Lee Cattermole returns to the Sunderland squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Hull.


The midfielder, who was heavily linked with a deadline day move to Stoke, has missed the last two games with a calf problem, but is fit and available once again.


Manager Gus Poyet is hoping two weeks' rest will help solve striker Steven Fletcher's Achilles injury without the need for an operation, while defender Carlos Cuellar (hip) continues to work towards match fitness and keeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder surgery) is still out.


Poyet was delighted to see Adam Johnson named player of the month for January.


The winger hit five league goals including a hat-trick at Fulham.


Poyet said: "I want to say, without being biased, that I saw it coming," said Poyet, whose side took seven points from their four league games in January.


"Adam has given us that extra bit of quality we were needing and the award is totally deserved, so I'm very pleased for him."


Hull could have Sone Aluko back for the first time since October.


The forward has been restricted to just eight appearances this season due to an Achilles problem but is pushing for a place on the bench having played an hour for the reserves.


Steve Harper will continue in goal as Allan McGregor serves the second match of a three-game suspension, while James Chester (hamstring) is the only injury absentee.


Steve Bruce believes Sunderland fans would be playing into Hull's hands if they focused their efforts on making his return to the Stadium of Light an uncomfortable one.


Bruce was sacked as Black Cats boss in November 2011, leaving the club with few supporters in the stands.


His lifelong allegiance with rivals Newcastle may not have helped, but his assertion that it scuppered his reign from the start did not go down well with the Sunderland faithful either.


He is braced for hostility when he takes the Tigers to Wearside on Saturday, but feels that could make life easier for his players.


"If it's all geared at me, fantastic. Bring it on," he said.


"The players are the most important thing for me. They've got to handle the occasion and the atmosphere.


"If all the focus is on me, the players can just go out and do their jobs. It can work like that."



PA

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