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Kyle to make bench?/New striker in

Kyle to make bench?/New striker in

Kevin Kyle last night completed 86 minutes of reserve team action and got on the scoresheet in their 3-0 victory over Blackburn.

The Scottish international came through unscathed and put in a decent performance alongside Daryl Murphy upfront - the scorer of Sunderland's other 2 goals.

Stephen Wright also continued his return to full fitness by playing the first half and to complete the positive injury feedback George McCartney also came on for the last 15 minutes, slotting in comfortably at left back.

It is all encouraging news as Sunderland look to make the best they can of the remainder of the season, and there is no doubt amongst fans - as the current website poll suggests - that the return of this trio, aswell as Stephen Elliot at a later date, will significantly improve the team.

Another reserve fixture is scheduled for Thursday night and depending on whether Kyle features - and for how long - in that match will determine whether he makes the bench for Saturday. If the FA Cup tie comes too early for Kyler, he will be chomping at the bit to be involved in the derby next Tuesday, when Sunderland entertain Middlesborough.

Brief transfer news - There are reports that Sunderland are set to sign Leeds 19 year-old forward Kevin Smith on a 1 year deal. The striker has impressed for the Leeds reserve side this season and while he won't be expecting to figure in first team plans quite yet he will no doubt be hoping to compete for a place next season in what looks more and more likely to be another push for promotion.

Writer:
Date:Wednesday January 25 2006
Time: 3:02AM

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1 Chelsea 25 19 3 3 60 34
2 Man City 25 16 4 5 52 22
3 Spurs 25 14 8 3 50 28
4 Arsenal 25 15 5 5 50 26
5 Liverpool 25 14 7 4 49 24
6 Man Utd 25 13 9 3 48 17
7 Everton 25 11 8 6 41 13
8 WBA 25 10 7 8 37 3
9 Stoke 25 8 8 9 32 -6
10 West Ham 25 9 5 11 32 -9
11 Southampton 25 8 6 11 30 -3
12 Burnley 25 9 3 13 30 -9
13 Watford 25 8 6 11 30 -13
14 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 5 13 26 -14
15 Swansea 25 7 3 15 24 -23
16 Middlesbrough 25 4 10 11 22 -8
17 Leicester City 25 5 6 14 21 -19
18 Hull City 25 5 5 15 20 -27
19 Crystal Palace 25 5 4 16 19 -14
20 Sunderland 25 5 4 16 19 -22
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