SUNDERLAND defensive duo Callum Doyle and Dennis Cirkin will both be monitored by the club's medical staff this week as they make recoveries from respective injury problems. 

The teenage pair sat out last night's 5-0 hammering over Cheltenham Town at the Stadium of Light, a resut which saw the club go top of the League One table. 

Cirkin could be out for longer after he suffered concussion in the victory over Bolton Wanderers at the weekend. He has since been slowly eased back into training ahead of their trip to Portsmouth this weekend. 

Full-back Niall Huggins took his place in last night's starting eleven.

Manager Lee Johnson said: “We’ll have to see. We’ll just have to assess.

“In terms of a concussion protocol, he is compliant with that and the runs on the ladder, he’s doing well.

“Each day will just be another assessment and we’ll try and get him out on the grass today and go very light with him and see how he responds."

As for Doyle, the youngster was suffering with a stiff back in the build up to Bolton and was forced in the last few minutes of the game. 

His place was taken by Bailey Wright last night who opened the scoring with a glancing header against the Robins.

Johnson added: “It was a risk that we weren’t willing to take with a young player.

“The shear proximity of games that he’s had, he’s never had that before.  He’s seventeen.

“He’s still got loads to do, loads to learn.

“The problem we’ve got with Doyle is if he plateaus a little bit, he’s set his standards now so high that if he drops like one point or one per cent, it stands out like a sore thumb to all of us.

“He’s still putting in proper experienced composed performances so it is probably the hardest job in football at the moment in terms of picking the next eleven because everybody is chomping at the bit and everybody deserves to play."