Sunderland news: Kevin Phillips makes frank Black Cats admission ahead of Wigan clash


Sunderland's chances of achieving a top-two finish in League One next month suffered a major blow last Saturday as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic.

As a result of this setback, Sunderland now trail promotion rivals Peterborough United by five points with just seven games left to play this season.

Set to face a relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic side tomorrow evening, the Black Cats will be determined to get back on track in this particular clash.

Given that his side were relatively poor in their showdown with Charlton, it will be intriguing to see whether Sunderland manager Lee Johnson opts to make any changes for the club's visit to the DW Stadium.

Making reference to the Black Cats' weekend defeat, Kevin Phillips has admitted that the result was a big blow to the club's hopes of securing automatic promotion and has called for Johnson to start Denver Hume at full-back on Tuesday instead of Callum McFadzean.

Speaking to Football Insider ahead of the club's meeting with Wigan, the former Sunderland striker said: "There has been a little bit of flack directed McFadzean's way but it's swings and roundabouts for me.

"He has done well in stages this season.

"It might be time for a change at left-back now with Hume coming back from injury and the loss.

"It was a big blow in their push for promotion and maybe that little tweak could do wonders.

"It might be a position Lee Johnson looks at."

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Having lost ground on Peterborough at the weekend, it is imperative that Sunderland take full advantage of their game in hand tomorrow by beating Wigan as a failure to do so could leave their automatic promotion hopes in tatters.

After making two substitute appearances against Posh and Charlton, it would not be at all surprising if Hume is handed his first start since December.

Whilst McFadzean did achieve the fourth-highest WhoScored rating recorded by a Black Cats player in Saturday's defeat (6.98), he could potentially benefit from a rest having started nine of the club's previous 10 league games.

Providing that the Black Cats are able to get back on track by securing a handsome victory over the Latics, they could use the momentum gained from this result to push on during the closing stages of the season.

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