Sunderland AFC manager David Moyes has stated that midfielder Paddy McNair was key part of his plans until the Northern Irishman's season-ending injury.
Getting a grasp at the club
However he went off injured in the 3-0 victory over Mike Phelan's side, and it has emerged that he has burst his cruciate knee ligament.
The Northern Ireland international will require, and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, and Moyes shared his disappointment at the latest injury.
“Paddy was starting to understand more about the club, the supporters and also the general game," Moyes told the Sunderland Echo. "So it’s a real shame for the boy.”
"He’s really keen to do well and he works really hard at his game to try to improve," he stated. "We’re incredibly disappointed because we want to try to build a young team going forward and Paddy was part of that."
"I think he’d just started to find his way in the Premier League," Moyes added. "Even though he had experience at Manchester United – and the games he was having were bringing him on and giving him confidence.”
Got enough reinforcements
Moyes has been incredibly unlucky with injuries so far in the campaign, losing a significant number of first-team players.
However it does seem that their fortunes are on a turn, with the likes of Jan Kirchoff and Sebastian Larsson very close to returns.
One player that has recently returned from injury is Jason Denayer, and the Manchester City loanee has stated that the Black Cats have enough reinforcements to deal with the loss of McNair.
“It’s difficult because Paddy’s out until the end of the season and it’s going to feel longer for him than for us," Denayer said. "He’s going to be looking at people playing football and he cannot play."
“He’s going to look at people running, he cannot run," the Belgian stated. "I think it’s going to be very difficult for him. He might need to be strong and work hard to come back."
“It’s difficult because right now we have some other injuries as well," the 21-year-old admitted. "But we’ve got the players to deal with such setbacks."
Sunderland AFC will take on Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, November 26 with kick-off at 3pm BST.