Roy Keane has effectively ruled Dwight Yorke out of contention for Sunderland’s trip to Fulham after his international exertions – claiming the veteran midfielder will not be able to cope with the rigours of a fourth start in a fortnight.
Yorke made a vital contribution to his country’s 2-1 victory over the United States, scoring the penalty that kept their hopes of World Cup qualification alive – but it appears to have been to the detriment of his club career.
Keane sees the travelling and the strain of playing two full games in a few days for his country as incompatible with the demands of the Premier League. Asked whether Yorke’s international exertions will influence Keane’s team selection, he was unequivocal.
“Yes, very much so – it has to do. We look at all the players when they come back from international duty, especially the lads who have played a couple of games,” Keane said.
“It will be difficult for Yorkie at his age and with all the travelling he has had to do. But we will take a look at him in training, like we will do with all of the lads coming back from international duty.”
While the midfielder is unlikely to play there is good news on Yorke’s compatriot Kenwyne Jones. The striker is training with the first team again and is in line to make his much-anticipated comeback for the reserves on Wednesday – putting him in line for a part in the Tyne-Wear derby in eight days.
Teemu Tainio may return at Craven Cottage tomorrow after playing for Finland this week but Nyron Nosworthy is out of contention after failing to recover from a hamstring injury. The defender is expected to be in contention for the derby game, however.
“I was in regular contact with Teemu’s international manager (Stuart Baxter) and we’ll see how he is. It’s good for him to be back and he will have benefited from playing in that game,” said Keane.
“Kenwyne has had a good few days’ training with the first team and we’ll look to get him involved with the reserves next week. If all goes well, you never know for the following week. It’s a big boost for everyone that he is on his way back.”
Highly-rated striker Martyn Waghorn is also on his way back, giving Keane improved options all over the pitch. And he will need them ahead of what he admits is a “vital” period for the squad that he revamped over the close season.
“We’ve got good options now and the competition for places is good. This is the happiest that I have been in terms of the squad since I’ve been at Sunderland,” he said.