Fletcher set to travel

by Stuart Vose

Di Canio: ‘Fletcher is part of the squad’.

Paolo Di Canio says Steven Fletcher will travel with the Sunderland squad this weekend.

The Black Cats face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday and Fletcher is again set to be included after being named as an unused substitute for the midweek win over MK Dons.

Fletcher missed out on Sunderland’s pre-season after sustaining an injury in March which required surgery.

But the striker is now back in training after working hard on his rehabilitation over the summer and Di Canio will leave it late before making a decision on his status.

“He is obviously part of the squad,” Di Canio said. “If I brought him with us on Tuesday that means he is available to travel with us also for the next game.

“Steven will join the rest of his team-mates on the trip and then I will decide if I will play him, but he will be with the group.”

Di Canio added: “He is an important player and joined us in full training just 10 days ago. For 25 days we were abroad during the pre-season and he couldn’t go, so it’s obvious he needs to practice.

“With the fitness level and the belief he has he can stay with the group and maybe have a part in the game.”