Tony Mowbray issue Niall Huggins injury updates

Tony Mowbray confident Niall Huggins’ injury issues are in the past.
TONY MOWBRAY is confident Niall Huggins has put his injury issues behind him – and is capable of playing three games in a week if required.

Huggins has suffered two years of injury hell since joining Sunderland from Leeds United in the summer of 2021, with a succession of niggling issues restricting him to just a handful of senior appearances prior to the start of the current campaign.

The York-born defender ended pre-season this summer hoping for an opportunity to prove he had put his problems behind him, and it arrived when injuries to Aji Alese and Dennis Cirkin opened up a spot at left-back.

Huggins has seized it with both hands, to the point where he is almost certain to start this evening’s home game with Watford and Saturday’s Wear-Tees derby with Middlesbrough provided he stays fit.

That has not always been a given, but Mowbray sees no reason why the 22-year-old’s injury issues should reappear, such has been the success of his most recent return to action.

The Sunderland boss said: “Not once have I seen him say, ‘I need to miss (training) today, this is a bit sore or that’s a bit tight, can I have a day off, gaffer? I’m feeling this or that, but I should be alright in a couple of days’.

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“There’s been none of that. He just puts his boots on every day and goes out and trains, which is a really good sign for us.”

Huggins has played right across the backline for Sunderland, and even slotted in at the heart of midfield during a pre-season game at Hartlepool United this summer.


He seems to have found a home at left-back though, with the speed of his adaptation to the role having impressed his head coach.


Mowbray said: “He needs to just keep focused and keep on doing what he has been doing. And what he has been doing is being part of the jigsaw.


“He does his job where he is asked to do it, fills the part of the pitch he has been asked to fill, and he has been efficient at it. He has to keep on doing that, no more and no less.


“It lets the team function – you just do your job, and he has done that very well. I can’t see any reason why he can’t do it a couple more times before the international break.”


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