LAMINE KONE is available for Sunderland’s weekend trip to Brentford after recovering from an illness, but Tyias Browning and Jonny Williams are both struggling to make the trip to Griffin Park.

Kone was forced to sit out last weekend’s 1-1 draw with QPR after contracting a bout of sickness and diarrhoea in the build-up to the game, but the centre-half has trained all week and is set to return to the starting line-up on Saturday.

Ideally, Grayson would like to pair him with Browning, but while the Everton loanee trained this morning, he continues to struggle with a hamstring injury. The same is true of Williams, with the Wales international having damaged his hamstrings in the closing stages of last weekend’s game.

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Grayson said: “Lamine trained on Monday morning. He was ill overnight (last) Thursday and on the Saturday was still not able to play. We’d had a virus at the club and thought it was okay.

“Tyias has trained today, so we’ll see where he is tomorrow. Jonny Williams just felt his hamstring after the game on Saturday. He hasn’t trained yet, but he will maybe train tomorrow. Marc Wilson was back on the grass today, although I think Saturday will probably be too soon for him.”

This weekend’s game will also come too soon for Paddy McNair, Joel Asoro and Josh Maja, with the trio all set to be involved with the Under-23s tomorrow.

Grayson said: “Paddy, Josh and Joel will play for the Under-23s at Everton and probably get 60 or 70 minutes. They played well the other night, and they’re making progress towards selection for the first team.”

Sunderland go into this weekend’s game one place off the foot of the Championship table, and still searching for their first league victory since they won at Norwich in their second game of the season.

Last weekend’s draw followed a familiar pattern, with Sunderland starting reasonably brightly before crumbling at the first sign of opposition pressure, but Grayson continues to insist he can see signs of progress.

He said: “I genuinely believe that we’re not a million miles away from getting the results that some of the performances have warranted. We’ve shown character in the last couple of games and I’ve seen signs on the training pitch that there’s a good vibe. The players have a spring in their step and they know what we’re all doing will reap its rewards very soon.

“I know what I’ve got within the group, and that we will get results. We’re positive in everything we do. It’s not a situation we’re feeling uncomfortable with, but we are feeling uncomfortable because we don’t want to be in that position. We have to keep working and raising the standard to help us get the results.”