McCarthy missing absentees
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland's Mick McCarthy has bemoaned the loss of five key players.
Mick McCarthy has bemoaned the loss of five key players as he faces the home Premiership clash against Liverpool with some trepidation.
The Black Cats were woeful in their 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Saturday and come up against the European champions in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday.
Although there seems little hope of the basement club miraculously finding their form and confidence, McCarthy would be more upbeat if he had some of his influential figures back.
"Great, we've got Liverpool," was the Sunderland manager's honest appraisal to Sky Sports. "We'll try and right all our evils.
"Maybe, it'll do us a favour. Everyone's expecting them to spank us. Everyone will expect it.
"We'll have a chat and see what the players think. We've got to have more fight, a bit more of a scrap. If we're as limp-wristed as that in the second half [on Saturday] then it ain't going to happen."
McCarthy is without the likes of Julio Arca, George McCartney, Kevin Kyle, Stephen Wright and Stephen Elliott through injury.
"Arguably, they'd all be playing in the side," he said. "That makes five of them.
"It makes life difficult. I'm never one to make excuses but it'd be nice to have them back.
"It would take pressure off one or two in the team and put pressure on people who have got the positions.
"But none of them will be ready for Wednesday.
"We're all finding it difficult at the minute, it's not easy.
"We've got to get ready for Liverpool and have a scrap with them on Wednesday."