JACK ROSS has hinted that Sunderland will not be handing debuts to new signings Laurens de Bock and Joel Lynch when they head to Accrington on Saturday.

The two new faces signed before the deadline day at the start of the month have worked on their fitness over the international break but are still not ready for a first team call-up.

But Ross is ready to given them a run-out in Monday’s Under-23s game with Middlesbrough at Eppleton in preparation for them competing for a place in the League One team.

Ross said: “The only absentee is Duncan (Watmore) still. Charlie Wyke has a little issue, he is suspended anyway. All being well he will train at the weekend and be available after Saturday. Laurens and Joel are working towards full fitness and will play for 23s on Monday. That will get them closer.”

De Bock will be given the task of challenging young gun Denver Hume for the left-back slot and he has recovered from a knock to face Accrington.

Ross said: “We needed someone in that position to give us another option. I still want to progress Denver, I don’t want to recruit players similar age to Denver, block his pathway. But Laurens has a good pedigree, played at a good level overseas and he is excited to try to kickstart his career. He has been with us ten days and working towards full fitness.

“We can sometimes be over-protective with players sometimes. You have to be at your best to play every week. The biggest compliment is that Denver is a first team player, has been since I took the job. This season he has been fit and he has played. Any dips or injuries offers an opportunity to others. If he plays like he has this season then he has control of that jersey.”