Michael Appleton says his players are ready for the stern test ahead of them at Sunderland this weekend despite the amount of games which they’ve had over the past week or so.

The limited time between fixtures means that the training schedule has to change somewhat as it’s been a testing time for all the squad but while Michael admits it’s difficult he says his side will be full of gusto and keen to get back out onto the pitch after back to back victories at LNER Stadium.  

“I’m not in the luxury of being able to change the team too much as we haven’t got the biggest squad but what we will do is try to look after the players the best we possibly can before the game." Michael said.

“The lads are in good spirits and full of belief, they should be in a good place going into tomorrow’s game. I think that it’s probably the latter part of the game that both sides will probably feel a little tired. We’ve just got to make sure we stay consistent and stay in a place where our performances remain similar to what they have been.”

On the opposing side this weekend, Sunderland have more players at their disposal which could pose many different threats and with their form in recent weeks picking up it will be a difficult task at hand. But Michael says that the side which take on the Black Cats this weekend has evolved since the sides both met earlier in the season.

“It [our pattern of play] has definitely come on since we last played against them, there’s no doubt about it. The words I used in the first few weeks I was here was that we had to work at being harder to beat, becoming more resolute and I do think we have that as a team now.

He continued: “I think we’re a little more expansive, the players have worked really hard. Since the Burton game, we’ve had six games, four of them have gone with us in terms of wins and arguably the other two against two top teams we should have got something so there’s no doubt they have come on but I still want us to be better. That’s not trying to be cheeky or wanting too much but all the players know that and they’re all striving to be better because once you think you’ve cracked it, it comes and slaps you in the face. We have to make sure our attitude and application is exactly the same as it has been over the last few weeks.”

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With over 3,000 Imps’ travelling up the A1 to the North East tomorrow, the City boss is relishing the prospect seeing the army of supporters in the Stadium of Light and he and the players are ever thankful for their commitment and it’s his and the player’s aim to try to make this weekend another game to remember.

“I can’t wait for the game and I’m sure the players are the same.  It’s not easy, it’s an expensive time of the year and with the amount of games we’ve had. We are grateful to everyone who is going up there with us, there will be a reminder it’s a big game. They know they’ve got support and backing behind them. We want loads of memorable days over the next few years and hopefully we can produce one of those on Saturday.”