Injuries Ease

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Sebastien Schemmel misses the trip to Sunderland with a slight foot injury, while Trevor Sinclair hopes to celebrate the birth of another boy this week with a winning performance.

"We have had one or two doubts but won't leave it as late as Saturday morning to decide if people are fit," says Glenn Roeder.

"But Trevor is okay and I obviously send my congratulations to Trevor and his wife Natalie on the birth of their baby, who I believe will be named Sky."

Also included in the squad are Brent Rahim and Youssef Sofiane, while injury worries this week about Fredi Kanoute and Jermain Defoe - not to mention Trevor as well - have now faded.

Glenn says it is time to start putting a smile on people's faces and adds:

"I am a very optimistic and positive person - and if you are not you shouldn't be in football.

"We have three games coming up and I hope there is a much better feelgood factor at the end of that - but we will wait and see.

"We want the players smiling for the right reasons; they are not happy about our position but they are positive and confident that they can do the job that is coming up."

Glenn knows the atmosphere will be red hot at the Stadium of Light even if the temperature won't be and says:

"I lived in the north east for six years when I played for Newcastle and it was a great place to play.

"I know the importance of football to the supporters there very much as I know the importance of football to people from the east end of London, as I am one of them.

"That is why it pains me greatly at the moment that we are at the bottom of the table - but we all determined to pull ourselves out of the hole that we have let ourselves slip into."

SQUAD: James, Van der Gouw, Forde, Minto, Repka, Dailly, Pearce, Winterburn, Breen, Carrick, Cole, Sinclair, Kanoute, Di Canio, Lomas, Defoe, Garcia, Cisse, Sofiane, Rahim.