Le­gia War­saw tie comes too soon for bat­tling striker Maja

Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Josh Maja has stepped up his come­back from in­jury this week.

But he will not be in­volved when Sun­der­land Un­der-23s take on Le­gia War­saw in tonight’s Pre­mier League In­ter­na­tional Cup tie at the Sta­dium of Light (7pm).

The 18-year-old made a ten­ta­tive re­turn to ac­tion last month, but suf­fered a re­cur­rence of his knee prob­lem while warm­ing up be­fore a Pre­mier League 2 clash with Ever­ton.

Maja (pic­tured), who im­pressed in pre-sea­son be­fore pick­ing up the in­jury, hopes to push for first­team se­lec­tion in the com­ing weeks.

Coach El­liott Dick­man will name a young side to take on Poles Le­gia, though Jack Rod­well, Don­ald Love and Bren­dan Gal­loway all played in the pre­vi­ous group game, a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin. Dick­man said: “We have to make sure we’re com­pet­i­tive and work hard, but we also have to pass the ball well and make sure we pro­duce the qual­ity we’re ca­pa­ble of in the fi­nal third.

“We’ll have sim­i­lar squad to the one we’ve had in re­cent weeks – Josh Maja won’t fea­ture as he con­tin­ues his re­hab – and it’ll be an­other chance for the young lads to show­case them­selves on a big stage.

“It’s also a good chance for the sup­port­ers to come down and catch a glimpse of the younger play­ers against Euro­pean op­po­si­tion, as it’s not some­thing they can see ev­ery day. Above all, though, we want to get a good re­sult and then do the same in our fi­nal group game against Le­ices­ter.”

Dick­man ad­mits his side will be largely in the dark when it comes to their op­po­nents. He said: “Hope­fully we can get an­other vic­tory.

“But we’re go­ing in some­what blind be­cause we don’t know too much about them. How­ever, we’re go­ing through what we have at the club and we’re ready for the game.”

Ad­mis­sion is priced at £3 for adults and £1 for over-65s and un­der-16s. Un­like U23 league games, there is no free en­try for sea­son card hold­ers due to com­pe­ti­tion rules.

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