THE second of three testing fixtures in week sees Darlington take on Sunderland this evening.

On Sunday Tommy Wright’s side played their first match of pre-season when they took on Motherwell, the Scottish Premiership club running out 5-1 winners at Blackwell Meadows.

Aside from being a full-time outfit in Scotland’s top tier, Motherwell are also a couple of weeks ahead of Quakers in their preparations and it showed.

Sunderland will be playing their first friendly of the summer in their first visit to Blackwell, but the League One outfit can be sure to give Darlington a tough match.

“The lads have got three tough games in seven days, but the lads should enjoy and relish this,” said Wright, whose team are in Holland to face PSV de Jong on Saturday.

“I like to think that the fans will understand that we’re not playing Scottish Premiership and League One teams every week. They were made to work really hard on Sunday.

“I saw some good and I saw some bad, but you’ve got to bear in mind what they were up against.

“The lads will get fitter and fitter by playing games rather than running around.”

On Darlington’s return from Holland they face Middlesbrough on Saturday, 21 (1pm), but there has been a change of plan for Wednesday, July 25.

Quakers will now travel to Northallerton Town, with scheduled home game with Leeds United cancelled.

This evening’s game will be refereed by Premier League official Michael Oliver.