Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United

Sunderland duo Billy Jones and Jack Rodwell will be given the weekend off by Gus Poyet to enable them to regain full fitness.

Gus Poyet will not risk Billy Jones or Jack Rodwell for Sunderland's trip to Manchester United this weekend as the duo are nursed back to full health.

Both players returned to light training this week after ankle and calf injuries respectively, but head coach Poyet will wait until Tuesday's clash with Hull City before considering them for selection.

Rodwell has not featured for Sunderland since he was sent off in last month's FA Cup replay victory over Fulham, while Jones missed last weekend's goalless draw with West Brom.

"We are not going to risk Billy," said Poyet. "We're going to wait until Tuesday, and Jack the same.

"But the rest of the squad is there. We're in good shape. Now it's up to us to perform on Saturday at 3pm.

"I like to plan a little bit and train a few things, and when you have most of the squad that you have for the weekend, you can really do things in a different way.

"Last week, three or four players who played at the weekend didn’t train until the Friday.

"This week has been much better."

Saturday's trip to Manchester has come too soon for Will Buckley (knee), though, with Emanuele Giaccherini the only other player definitely ruled out.

The Italian is unlikely to feature again this season after undergoing a second operation on a troublesome ankle injury sustained last month.