Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ross Gives Very Strong Indication of Team for Trophy Semi; BOSS VOWS: CHANGES WILL NOT WEAKEN US

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ross Gives Very Strong Indication of Team for Trophy Semi; BOSS VOWS: CHANGES WILL NOT WEAKEN US

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HUNTER Sunderland writer james.hunter@reachplc.com @JHUNTERCHRON

JACK Ross will make changes for Sunderland's Checkatrade Trophy semi-final tonight - but says he will field the strongest line-up to have featured in the competition so far.

The Black Cats take on Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium - the prize for the winners a Wembley final date with Portsmouth at the end of the month.

This is Sunderland's seventh game in the competition.

Ross has used the Trophy to rest some of his first-teamers to keep them fresh for the promotion campaign, as an opportunity to give squad players game time and to give fringe players and a handful of youngsters a chance.

There will be an element of that again -but Ross is conscious of the fact a trip to Wembley is within Sunderland's grasp.

He also points out this will be the I would will strongest have put competition Jack Black Cats' toughest game yet as they face a fellow League One side, having seen off League Two teams Carlisle, Morecambe and Notts County and the under-21 teams of Stoke City, Newcastle United and Manchester City so far.

He said: "I would think it will be the strongest side I have put out in this competition so far.

"It is an important game for us. "What we have done throughout the competition is pick teams aimed at winning games.

"We have been able to make changes at different times but those changes have taken different forms.

"If you look at the Morecambe game in isolation, for example, that was a very young squad.

"The only reason we picked that team was because it would have taken a very strange set of circumstances for us to go out of the tournament that night. "In other games, players who have needed game time have played alongside a mixture of players who have been playing regularly in the league. …

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