26 January 2023

Tony Mowbray rues ‘big loss’ of Sunderland captain Corry Evans to injury

26 January 2023

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray admitted Corry Evans will be a “big loss” for the club with the midfielder expected to miss the rest of the season through injury.

The Black Cats captain was forced off the pitch just 11 minutes into the Wear-Tees clash against Middlesbrough at the weekend, and the club have confirmed he has sustained damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

With Evans set to undergo surgery, Mowbray is hopeful the midfielder will still be able to continue having an influence in the dressing room.

“First and foremost it’s a blow for Corry I think, he’s been amazing at this club since he came and I think he’s been very central,” he told a press conference.

“Corry’s just a really good professional footballer who understands his job, does his job, does his work every day, sets the standards in the dressing room.

“I’m sure he’s going to maintain that, he’s going to be around the place and obviously in the treatment room for a while, but he’ll still set the standards in the dressing room for young players at this football club.

“I’ve got no fears he’ll be back stronger and helping us in the future.

“I think it’s a big loss for the football club, not just the team on the pitch and we understand that.”

His absence comes as a blow ahead of Sunderland’s FA Cup fourth-round clash with Premier League side Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Evans has been a key figure for the Black Cats this season, with Mowbray’s men ninth in their first season back in the Championship and only three points behind third-placed Watford.

Part of their success has been down to the impact of younger players, including Manchester United loanee Amad Diallo, winger Jack Clarke and academy graduate Dan Neil.

“I like to work with young players and I like to try and inspire them with stories,” Mowbray added.

“Dan Neil was very much on Blackburn’s radar last year as – in inverted commas – ‘the best player in League One’ and somebody that we should have been trying to recruit. Unless you have got loads of money, it’s very hard to get football deals done.

“I’m delighted that Dan is progressing, as I think some of the other players are progressing as well.

“Just giving them a bit of confidence, a bit of love, a bit of belief that we can be a good team. Their performance level brings the support base on board and it’s great to be playing football in front of 40,000 crowds as a young guy doing well.

“Hopefully it goes hand-in-hand, hopefully we can continue to keep doing reasonably well and the fans understand where the club is at the moment and what we’re trying to achieve.

“It feels as if the young players in the team are in a good place and trying to enjoy their football.”

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