SUNDERLAND could be at the double if Jack Ross and Adam Matthews land League One player of the month prizes.

Full-back Matthews has been nominated for the PFA player of the month prize while Ross is in line for the top manager gong for October.

Matthews has made the six-man shortlist, which supporters vote for over the internet.

Plymouth Argyle’s Freddie Ladapo, Oxford United’s Simon Eastwood and Tony McMahon, Barnsley’s Brad Potts and Rochdale’s Ian Henderson are the rivals to Matthews.

The Welshman has helped Sunderland to keep clean sheets in their last four games, three in October.

He has played every minute of those games along with goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, Tom Flanagan, Jack Baldwin and Reece James, who got his chance after injury to Denver Hume and Bryan Oviedo’s suspension.

Matthews also recorded an assist for Josh Maja’s goal against Peterborough United.

Sunderland’s October meant Ross has the best record of any on the four-man shortlist for the prize. He is competing with Luton Town’s Nathan Jones, Chris Powell of Southend - who Sunderland beat - and Coventry City’s Mark Robins.

Sunderland have dropped two points during that period, as well as beating Carlisle United in the Football League Trophy.

It is Ross' back four which is expected to start against Port Vale on Sunday, when Sunderland will be looking to make progress in the FA Cup.

The Black Cats have not budgeted for success in the cup competitions, so any extra games will be a bonus as owner Stewart Donald looks to secure greater financial stability after months of huge change.

Prize money in the cups will help. Not only will they pocket £75,000 in TV money from the Port Vale clash (BT Sport at 2.30pm), there will be a further £36,000 is up for grabs to the club that reaches round three.

Sunderland will also face Morecambe on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy when progress to the knock-out stages will be guaranteed.

Executive director Charlie Methven said: “If we get to the final of the Checkatrade Trophy the club would probably make about a million quid. As a percentage of an overall revenue base of £18m, that’s pretty good.

“If we make round three of the FA Cup we could probably make £500,000-£600,000. These are things that we haven’t factored into our budget, because we don’t think it’s wise to plan cup runs. It should come as the cream on the cake rather than making up the cake.

“But these things do start to matter, including things like whether you’re going to get on TV or not.

“That’s the reality once you’re outside of the Premier League and your revenue base is something like £20m, which is actually pretty high.”

Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady is likely to play in one of those cup games rather than both, and he has proven he has the ability to really cause problems for League One defences.

The Ireland international had been expected to leave during the summer but he was happy to fight for his place and has impressed Ross with his attitude to playing at the lower level.

He scored both goals in the weekend win at Plymouth to lift Sunderland up to second and he would love to help deliver promotion.

The former Celtic man has also revealed he would cherish a return to Parkhead to finish his career having won three titles there, having spent six years playing for Celtic before a £9.5m move to Spartak Moscow.

“I think the moment where I could have returned as Celtic player has passed,” he was quoted by the Daily Record. “I would be happy to finish my career in a Celtic shirt, but I don’t think it will happen.

“I have not seriously thought about coaching career, a couple of years ago I would have flatly rejected the idea of becoming a coach, but the older I get, the more I play and watch football, the more often I think about it.”