Preview: Hartlepool United v Sunderland

by Oscar Chamberlain

Poyet set to hand run-outs to more senior players.

Next up in Sunderland’s pre-season campaign is a trip to Victoria Park to take on Hartlepool United this evening.

The Black Cats secured a 1-0 win over Carlisle United yesterday, with Gus Poyet selecting a strong starting XI before unleashing a number of Academy players who ultimately made the difference.

Mikael Mandron notched the only goal of the encounter with 71 minutes played, smashing the ball into the corner after good build-up play from Carl Lawson and George Honeyman.

Poyet is expected to name another strong starting XI on Wednesday, with the likes of Costel Pantilimon, John O’Shea, Lee Cattermole, Seb Larsson and Steven Fletcher all likely to feature having missed the trip to Brunton Park.

Adam Johnson could also return to action having missed training time with a minor injury, while Liam Bridcutt is also progressing.

The match at Victoria Park will kick-off at 7.30pm, and although the players will train prior to the match on Wednesday morning the head coach is expecting to see more of the same. 

“The players who will play today trained very hard yesterday and they were again working hard this morning," he said.

“I am expecting more of the same but with different players, the idea is to go to Hartlepool and put in a good performance.

He added: “Our fitness levels are good and hopefully we will get through the game without any injuries.”

Hartlepool have also made an unbeaten start to their pre-season campaign, romping to an impressive 9-0 win over Billingham Town before sealing a 1-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue.

The club were relegated from the third tier of English football at the end of the 2012-13 season and they will be looking to build momentum ahead of the new campaign, as they aim for an instant return to League One under the management of Colin Cooper.

During his playing career Cooper enjoyed short stint on Wearside, playing three league games for the Black Cats whilst on loan from Middlesbrough in 2004.

If you’re not travelling to the game, there will be full coverage on, including a live blog and free audio commentary.