Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray outlines potential timeline for Ross Stewart return | OneFootball

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Football League World

·30 September 2022

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray outlines potential timeline for Ross Stewart return

Article image:Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray outlines potential timeline for Ross Stewart return

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has suggested star striker Ross Stewart is likely to be back on the grass before the winter World Cup break in November but is unsure whether he’ll feature until fixtures get back underway in December.

Due to Qatar 2022, the Championship is set for a 27-day break after the round of matches on the 12th and 13th of November as the majority of teams won’t play again until the 10th of December.

The Black Cats will be back in action a week earlier as their postponed game against Millwall at the Stadium of Light has been rescheduled for the 3rd of December.

Sunderland are set to play 10 games in the six weeks or so before the break starts and it would be useful if Stewart, who has been missing due to a thigh injury since the defeat to Middlesbrough at the start of the month, was able to return and play some part during that period.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, Mowbray revealed that was unlikely as he addressed the potential timeline for the Scot’s return.

He said: “I don’t know [if he’ll be back before the break]. I think he’ll be on the grass before then, but it’s a case of how quickly we feel he can get up to speed and how quickly he feels [up to speed] in himself.

“What you wouldn’t want to do is rush him back to play in one game before the World Cup break when you could give him the extra three weeks and make sure he is fully ready and up to speed going into the Millwall game after that.

“I don’t know, we’ll see. But we’re looking forward to getting him back.”

Quiz: Did Sunderland win, draw or lose the last time they played at these 18 stadiums?

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Article image:Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray outlines potential timeline for Ross Stewart return

Selhurst Park?

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The Verdict

Though it’s frustrating that the ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ will likely not return until after the winter World Cup break, it’s reassuring that Mowbray has outlined Sunderland are set to be cautious with their star forward.

Stewart made a fantastic start to life in the Championship and will be a key player for the Black Cats once he returns so trying to rush him back is far too risky – particularly given the lack of depth they have up front.

In the absence of the Scotsman and, more recently, Ellis Simms, a system that uses two number 10s and a false nine has worked well for Mowbray and that should mean he’s able to be a little more patient with the returning striker.

If the Black Cats can keep pace with the sides battling for a top six place over the busy period coming up then the return of Stewart could help them push for the play-off spots after the break.

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