STUART HARVEY believes he has a “blank canvas to implement an innovative model” following his appointment as Sunderland’s head of player recruitment.

Harvey, who started his career at Burnley, has made the move to the Stadium of Light after six years at Blackburn as part of wide-ranging changes under chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

“To be a part of the infrastructure the new ownership is putting in place is an honour,” Harvey told the club’s official website.

“Sunderland AFC is steeped in history and tradition, but we also have a blank canvas to implement an innovative model that promotes sustainable, long-term and evidence-based recruitment across the academy and first team.

“I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and I am incredibly excited to get started.”

Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman added: “Effective player recruitment is pivotal to our strategy and it’s vital that we create and develop an approach that takes every age group into consideration.

“We are seeking success and sustainability and this area of our football operations will be crucial for us as we strive to achieve these things over the long term.”

Oliver Younger could make his second Sky Bet League One appearance of the season as Sunderland face potential play-off rivals Blackpool.

The 21-year-old defender was not involved in Monday’s under-23s victory over Reading ahead of possibly featuring for the first team on Tuesday.

Jake Vokins played 45 minutes in the 2-1 win as he nears a return to full fitness.

Fellow defenders Jordan Willis, Dion Sanderson, Tom Flanagan, Arbenit Xhemajli and Conor McLaughlin are all currently sidelined.

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley hopes to have Kevin Stewart available again for the trip to the Stadium of Light.

Stewart is looking to return to action for the first time since March 13 due to an ankle injury.

Daniel Gretarsson, Matty Virtue, Keshi Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Gary Madine remain sidelined, while Bez Lubala is still unavailable due to a “club matter”.

On-loan midfielder Elliot Embleton is ineligible to face his parent club.