Date: 19th January 2018 at 12:38am
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Sunderland manager Chris Coleman has confirmed that Jonny Williams has now returned to training but Hull City will come too quickly for him.

Welsh international Williams joined the club on a loan spell over the summer from Crystal Palace and he’s a man that Coleman knows well from their time at international level.

Having picked up a shoulder injury 24 hours prior to Coleman’s arrival at the club, with the midfielder back in training now the gaffer believes he has a huge part to play in the second half of the season as he more than knows what he’s capable of on the pitch.

Coleman also lost Duncan Watmore to injury just prior to his appointment and the return of both would undoubtedly be a boost.

Speaking to the Official Site with Williams returning, Coleman was obviously pleased as he gave the lad his senior international debut back in 2013 and he knew he’d be a boost for everyone when fully back up to speed.

‘I remember getting a phone call from Kit because he came to the game against Millwall before I was unveiled on the Sunday. I was calling him throughout the game asking how`s it going, what`s happening, but then he just said ‘look, call me at the end – something`s happened`. Then he gave me the news and it was devastating because in our position they`re two players we could really do with.’

Having described the loss of both players as ‘devastating’, Coleman went on to say.

‘It`s a huge boost for us to have Jonny back in training. We`ve been badly lacking strength in depth over the past few weeks, but he was back in training today – not fully – and he was integrated back into the first team and he did most it. The good thing about a shoulder injury is that he`s been on his feet and doing lots of running, so it`s the contact that will be the real acid test – when he falls down or when he has a bit of contact with another player. Fingers crossed, though, because he`s ahead of schedule and we need his help, that`s for sure.’

Talking about what he expected Williams to bring to the group when fully fit, he went on to talk about our lack of a cutting edge and creativity and he felt Williams would lend himself to that.

‘He can play a big role because you can`t always kick it from the goalkeeper from back to front. There`s a time to do that, of course there is, but there`s also a time to play through midfield and you just have to find that balance. I feel like we`ve been in some good areas where we can play through the lines and get through with a bit more conviction and focus. A player like Jonny can change the dynamics, that`s for sure, and he gets a lot of free-kicks because he commits defenders – like Duncan with his pace and energy – so for the way we want to play these two are perfect. We haven`t had them and we won`t have Duncan for longer, unfortunately, but Jonny will be back very soon.’

Speaking himself about his return to training, Williams said.

‘When I first suffered the injury I feared I would be out until April, so to be back in training in January is a real positive for me and hopefully I can feature in a lot of the games before the end of the season. I`ll need to build my fitness through training and hopefully I`ll play in an under-23 game next week, but after that I`ll be good to go and ready to help the team.’

He went on to say.

‘I wanted to come here and show people what I could do, and although there were glimpses I wanted to have a run in the team and help the club have a good season. Unfortunately I couldn`t, but I`ve had eight weeks to get stronger and mentally I feel ready to be thrown in at the deep end and join the party.’

Williams also had praise for what is an overworked Sunderland medical team this season.

‘The medical boys have been great and luckily they`ve also had a physio from Durham Cricket Club working at the academy, and he`s obviously dealt with a lot of shoulder injuries. To be able to rebab with a cricket physio has been a real blessing for me, but everyone has been great from the manager to Brandy, Binners and Chris, and rest of the medical department. I`ve been running with Lamby for the past four to five weeks and that`s probably been the biggest positive, as a leg injury wouldn`t have allowed me to stay fit. The transition from the treatment room to training has been a lot smoother than it could have been.’

Obviously Williams has an addition driver to impress given the faith Coleman has placed in him at international level.

‘I can`t thank him enough for what he`s done for me in my career so far and for the faith he showed in me by giving a chance on the international stage at such a young age. Even before my debut, while I was with the under-21s and the youth system, he looked out for me and helped prepare me to make the transition to the senior squad. When it was announced that he was coming here I was delighted. At the same time, I was a little gutted – like the rest of the Wales boys – because I know what kind of atmosphere he created with Wales and what we achieved was fantastic, but we have another legend taking over. To be able to work with him here is great for me and you can already see the difference he`s made. I can`t wait to be back out on the pitch.’

Sunderland have also recalled Max Stryjek from his loan spell with Accrington Stanley. The 21 year old only made three appearances for the side in the first half of the season, so no doubt we’ll be looking to loan him back out for greater game time.

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