Grant McCann has said Rovers will need to be fully focused in order to take three points at the Stadium of Light on Good Friday.
Rovers are looking to claim their fifth consecutive victory for this first time this season but McCann believes Sunderland will provide a difficult test.
“We’ve got to focus on our job, we know what we’ve got to do to cement that sixth place. Easter is a big period, if we can pick up maximum points it will put us in a tremendous position,” said McCann.
“We’ve won four in a row a few times but not five in a row, so that’s something for the boys to aim for but it’s going to be really difficult. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our game because on the day, if you’re not on it, you lose. They’ve got a good team, good players so it’s going to be a very difficult game.
"Stadium of Light is a difficult place to go, it’s going to be full and there will be a good atmosphere but we need to make sure we go there and play our game and try to get and them and cause them problems. There are opportunities for us. There are areas where we can hurt Sunderland and, of course, they will be saying the same about us.”
There was good news on the injury front with John Marquis and Ben Whiteman both in contention for places in the starting XI on Friday and Tom Anderson also recovering well. McCann also shed some light on the progress of Ian Lawlor and Joe Wright.
“It’s good to have John, Ben and Tom back because at this stage of the season, it makes us a lot stronger,” said McCann.
“John Marquis will be fit, Ben Whiteman will be fit, they both trained all week. Tom Anderson, I didn’t think he would be a possibility, but he was back in training on Wednesday. So we’re doing better in terms of strength in depth and having options.
“Joe Wright is coming along really well. He’s been out with the sports scientist so he’s got to recuperate this week but next week he’ll be joining back up with the squad. Ian Lawlor is way ahead of schedule too. He’s a great character and he wants to be back. Ian and Joe are working so hard so they can make an impact this season.”
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