LEE Johnson wants more from his fringe players in the Sunderland squad who have been handed a chance in the first-team in recent weeks.

The Black Cats have been hit with injuries to several first-team players forcing Johnson to change things up and shuffle the pack.

That has coincided with a loss of form in the league where they’ve lost three games in a row before the international break. They are now six points behind League One leaders Wigan Athletic but still occupy a play-off spot.

Johnson and his players now have an extended break before they met Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light next Saturday where they’ll be hoping to recapture their early season form.

They’ll use the time to get some members of the squad back to full fitness but it’s also an opportunity for fringe players earn the right to be in the starting line-up.

“There’s still a bit more to do, if we’re adhering ourselves to the standards that we’ve set.

“It’s not a given that these players will get their chance, they’ve got to earn their chance and they earn their chance in every opportunity.

“Whether that’s training, to set the tone, whether that’s games like tonight (against Bradford in the Papa John’s Trophy), to set the tone or whether they come on in a matchday in the league or in the FA Cup.”