MICHAEL Beale has described Patrick Roberts' latest injury setback as a "horrible" blow for the winger and for Sunderland - but has urged Abdoullah Ba and Romaine Mundle to grasp their opportunities in the weeks ahead.

Roberts is set for a scan today on the hamstring injury he suffered at Huddersfield but the Black Cats are braced for bad news and the wideman looks set for at least a month on the sidelines.

"The scan is today, it's the other side of the hamstring to what he did earlier in the season, but we think it's very similar," said Beale on Friday morning.

"It's obviously a real sore one for us to take because we tried to manage his minutes. We were managing a calf and then managed to get a hamstring. It's horrible for Paddy and the team to be honest."


Beale must now decide whether to shift Abdoullah Ba to the right flank at Birmingham on Saturday or hand Romaine Mundle his first start since his January arrival.

He said: "We have to work on our right side. We've lost our main starter but for Abdoullah and Romaine it's a big opportunity.

"We've scored a few goals from down that side of late, Abdoullah has been in decent enough form, we have to find a solution with the players we've got.

"In terms of Romaine, with how the week's gone and minutes they've had, they are going to have to share the minutes this weekend. I think it's fair to say you may see Romaine and Abdoullah sharing some minutes in that position."

Saturday's game might come too soon for Callum Styles but the midfielder is back in full training and will definitely be ready to be involved for next week's visit of Swansea.

"On Callum, it was his second full session today so we will have to see," said Beale.

"There is a bit of tenderness there. By next week he will be 100% so we will have to see whether he makes the bench and how much he can play.

"He's a bit of an unknown to us in the sense that he's only had a couple of sessions. He's a very good footballer by the way."