The Black Cats make the long trip to Portsmouth on Saturday in a bid to extend their early lead atop League One.
Lee Johnson’s men have beaten Cheltenham Town five times in the middle of the week to maintain their strong start to the season.
Ross Stewart scored twice for the Black Cats after Bailey Wright’s first game header to put the hosts in full control at half-time.
Second-half goals from Luke O’Nien and substitute Leon Dajaku, his first for the club, then put even more shine on the score.
The result put Johnson’s side atop the third tier table after nine games, with Wigan failing to beat Sheffield on Wednesday at the DW Stadium.
Johnson spoke to the press Wednesday ahead of the trip to Fratton Park.
We’ll have the latest news, analysis and more from SAFC throughout the day:
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Last update: Friday, 01 October 2021 08:19
- Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka has joined Southend United on loan
- The Black Cats beat Cheltenham Town 5-0 on Tuesday night at the Stadium of Light in League One
- The Wearsiders return to action in level three against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday
We released TWO podcasts this week!
Hear from Sunderland Echo writers Phil Smith and Joe Nicholson in the first of our podcasts recorded earlier this week.
Our second podcast features Black Cats fans Dave Lawrence and Michael Bowers!
They both listen perfectly before the trip to Portsmouth!
Connor Wickham undergoes surgery
Former Black Cats forward Connor Wickham underwent surgery just weeks on signing a deal with Preston North End.
The forward underwent surgery to repair a damaged hamstring.
The former Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday man suffered an injury minutes after his full debut against Cheltenham in the Carabao Cup.
Wickham had made a replacement championship appearance for the North End before the injury.
He was grabbed from behind by a challenge as his leg was fully extended, causing damage to the upper hamstring of his right leg.
After seeing a specialist, Whickham underwent surgery on the injury and posted on Instagram.
He said: âTo say I’m gutted is an understatement but I’m grateful to have been in the hands of the best, the operation was a success and I’m already on my way home.
âI know I will give whatever I get on the pitch as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who contacted us in recent days. I really like CW21.
Wickham signed a four-month contract at North End earlier this month, after training with them as an experimenter in a bid to secure a deal.
He enjoyed a four-campaign stint at the Stadium of Light – with loans to Leeds United and Sheffield on Wednesday in between – following an Â£ 8million transfer from Ipswich Town in 2011.
The fees broke Ipswich’s record for transfer fees recovered and broke the transfer record for an EFL player moving to a Premier League club at the time.
What a player he was for Sunderland!
Blackburn Rovers were interested in Frederik Alves as defender opens up on Sunderland switch and David Moyes post
Frederik Alves, on loan at West Ham, has revealed the conversations he had with David Moyes before his move to Sunderland.
There were offers for Alves of NY Red Bulls, Blackburn and several other championship clubs over the summer.
But after speaking directly with former Black Cats boss Moyes, the Danish defender opted to move to Wearside to join head coach Lee Johnson.
Alves had trained with West Ham’s first team for the six months leading up to his summer move, with the Sunderland loaner attempting to gain minutes before returning to fight for his place in London.
The 21-year-old center-back made his Sunderland debut against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup last month and started in the next round against Wigan Athletic.
The Denmark Under-21 international also came on in the second half as Johnson’s men beat Cheltenham Town by five on Tuesday night.
Alves, however, is keen to learn in League One and has spoken to a Danish outlet. gras.dk. on the move to the Stadium of Light.
âMoyes and I agreed Sunderland was a better place for me.
âFor every home game there are around 30,000 spectators and I am part of a team that is not tight.
âWe would love to be at the top of the league, and that would give me the opportunity to play and get off to a good start next season.
“The main reason is that I have to have playing time and with the playing time the goal is for me to have significant experience and get to know English football.”
The situation regarding Sunderland’s clash with Oxford United
One question currently on the minds of fans is whether or not Sunderland’s clash with Oxford United in League One will continue.
The game is scheduled for Saturday, October 9 at the Stadium of Light.
However, the match falls at the start of the international break.
Ligue 1 clubs can request a postponement if three of their players are called up to the national team.
In the last international break, the Wearsiders’ clash with Sheffield on Wednesday was rescheduled.
Sunderland’s Tom Flanagan and Corry Evans have been called up to the Northern Ireland squad with Carl Winchester on hold.
And Niall Huggins has been selected to play for Wales’ Under-23 team again, meaning Sunderland can now postpone the game.
However, whether or not they do it may depend in large part on other call-ups.
Callum Doyle was included in the last England Under-19 team, while Dennis Cirkin was given the green light for the England Under-20 team.
Doyle is currently suffering from a minor back injury, while Cirkin is coming back from a concussion, so there remains the possibility that the Three Lions duo will not be selected.
With Sunderland now with three first-team players on international duty next month, they can now ask to postpone the game with Oxford United and are expected to do so, especially if more call-ups arrive.
One man who won’t be leaving Sunderland during the break is Ross Stewart, who missed the Scottish side despite comments suggesting manager Steve Clarke spotted the striker.
Benji Kimpioka and Phil Brown react after Southend United loan striker from Sunderland
Benji Kimpioka has shared his thoughts after his loan transfer to Southend United.
The forward joined the National League club on loan until January and will join former Hull City boss Phil Brown.
Kimpioka has made four appearances for Elliott Dickman’s Under-23 team this quarter, but he will now join the Shrimpers in the National League.
The 21-year-old was on loan at Torquay United last season but failed to register a goal or assist as Gary Johnson’s men lost in the National League play-off final to Hartlepool United.
The Swedish forward was then the subject of interest for the deadline day from the Pools after his promotion to Ligue 2, but a transfer to Victoria Park did not take place.
Kimpioka said on the Southend official website, âI can’t wait to cross the line and be with the guys here in Southend. I can not wait to see him.
âI had a little loan spell at Torquay coming back from an injury, but it was a great learning experience for me. I’m just happy to start here now.
âI want to learn as much as possible, I want to help the team and of course help myself.
“It will be a big challenge, I need it and I have to prove that I can do it at any level.”
Brown added, âHe’s in a similar mold to Matty Dennis where he comes from a big club in a higher division. This kind of mentality I want to bring.
âHe made a few national team appearances at the youth level for Sweden which technically tells me he should be good enough to play in this division.
âThe other thing is his pace. He’s lightning fast and maybe faster than Matty Dennis.
âIt puts a key in the job when it comes to people who think they’re comfortable and are going to have an automatic choice. I now have real competition for places and look forward to working with him.
“I’m delighted to bring him in, and he’s getting into thinking for Saturday, but we hope to release him at some point in the week, whether it’s Solihull, Eastleigh or Chesterfield.”