JACK ROSS has revealed that Sunderland will not have a new left-back in place for Saturday’s home game with AFC Wimbledon.

With Conor McLaughlin currently having to fill the left-back berth even though he is naturally more of a right-back, Ross is determined to bring in a specialist left-sided defender before the League One transfer window closes on September 2.

He had previously suggested there could be movement this week, but while he remains confident he will land one of his remaining targets before the window closes, he has accepted a deal will not be possible ahead of the weekend.

Ross said: “There’ll be nothing before the weekend. We’re hopeful that at the beginning of next week, we may be able to strengthen in the ways that we hope.

“After that, it’ll maybe depend on anyone going out, but by the beginning of next week, I would hope that we’ll be able to strengthen.”

As well as being without any new faces, Ross will also be deprived of the services of Marc McNulty when AFC Wimbledon visit the Stadium of Light.

The striker continues to struggle with a hamstring injury, and as well as playing no part on Saturday, is also set to miss next Wednesday’s Carabao Cup second-round game at Burnley. However, he should be available to return in the league game at Peterborough United in nine days’ time.

Ross said: “Marc will still miss the weekend game. The original prognosis was that he was always likely to be a couple of weeks, and the Peterborough game was always the one we had pencilled in as a possibility for his return, and that remains the case.

“He will miss the weekend, and with the greatest of respect, the Carabao Cup game plays second fiddle to the Peterborough league game, so if he is edging towards full fitness that week, then it will certainly be the Peterborough game that for us will be the more important one.

“Duncan Watmore and Ethan Robson are still absent as well. Other than that, we’re as we were. Jack Baldwin was unavailable for Tuesday’s game because of illness, but he’s back training as well.”

Earlier today, it was announced that former Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole has signed a one-year deal with Dutch Eredivisie side VVV Venlo.

Ross said: “I’m delighted for him. It’s a new challenge, and I think he was always keen to explore something different. That certainly gives him that. I think he’ll be an asset to them, as he was to me during my time at the club.

“I wish him well, and I’ll hopefully catch up with him later today. It’s a good move for him, an exciting move, and although it’s a different challenge, I’m sure it’s one he’ll embrace.”