Stewart - no room for slip-ups

Marcus Stewart believes Sunderland will be closer to walking in a Premiership wonderland if they can snatch another three points off his former club today, writes Derek Davis.

Marcus Stewart believes Sunderland will be closer to walking in a Premiership wonderland if they can snatch another three points off his former club today, writes Derek Davis.

The Black Cats' leading scorer with 14 goals was on target last week against Wimbledon but started on the bench in the 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Friday.

Stewart had targeted seven points from those two games and today's clash with Ipswich, meaning a draw would have been enough. But with Norwich and West Brom maintaining an eight-point gap Stewart accepts there is little room for error now with games running out.

He said: "We can definitely catch the top two. We're eight points behind them with a game in hand – and we've got to play them both at the Stadium of Light.


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"There are seven games left for us this season and a lot of points to play for. We'll look to keep the pressure on them.

"It only takes one or two slip-ups and you're right back in there, but we need to keep picking up points."

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Stewart missed out on playing against Town in the 3-2 win at the Stadium of Light due to injury and was suspended for the 2-1 FA Cup win at Portman Road, so this will be an emotional homecoming for the striker, who hit 19 Premiership goals in his first season.

But it is not certain he will start, with Kevin Kyle, Darren Byfield and Tommy Smith all in with a chance.

Manager Mick McCarthy was at Milmoor to see Town beat Rotherham and it will be interesting to see which front pairing he goes with after rotating his forwards recently.

Kyle caused Town problems when they met at the Stadium of Light.

George McCartney is a doubt with an ankle injury, and Steven Wright is likely to miss out as well.

Mart Poom will not be risked if he is not fully fit so Thomas Myhre, who kept a clean sheet in the win over Sheffield United, will keep his place.

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