Fletcher a doubt

Congleton Guardian: Steven Fletcher is a doubt for Sunderland's Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg clash with Manchester United Steven Fletcher is a doubt for Sunderland's Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg clash with Manchester United

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher is a doubt for the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at Manchester United on Wednesday.

Manager Gus Poyet gambled with Fletcher's fitness during Saturday's 2-2 Stadium of Light draw with Southampton, with the 26-year-old named as a substitute due to him nursing an Achilles injury.

Fletcher, however, was not present on the bench, but did appear for the final 18 minutes as the Black Cats chased a win after coming from 2-0 down, and with Jozy Altidore struggling up front.

Although Fletcher came through the game unscathed, the Achilles issue does make him touch and go for the trip to Old Trafford where Sunderland start with a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Poyet revealed: "We were trying not to play him at all because he had a problem, a little injury.

"We would not have involved him if we had been doing well.

"But I asked him to take a risk for him and for his team-mates and, credit to him, he did.

"It's a tricky injury and he could have made it worse, but he was happy in his warm-up and on the bike indoors before the game, and he gave us a very good 20 minutes.

"Sometimes you have to think of the player, and I did not want to be responsible for him getting injured by starting him in the game.

"But he came through it okay, and we just have to assess how it will be in the next few days."

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