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Tony Mowbray explains Isaac Lihadji absence ahead of Millwall trip

By Michael Graham,


New Sunderland signing Isaac Lihadji did not feature against Fulham, but he should be available soon.

Tony Mowbray says Isaac Lihadji did not feature for Sunderland at Fulham because he is still awaiting his work permit, and it will prevent him from traveling with the squad to Millwall too.

The Frenchman arrived last month from Lille and is a player from whom Sunderland are expecting some special things in the future.

He is still awaiting his work permit, though, and has a meeting in London on Friday to finalise everything in that regard.

Should everything go as planned, Lihadji still has a chance of being involved at The Den alongside fellow January arrivals Pierre Ekwah, Joe Anderson and Joe Gelhardt.

"If Isaac didn't have this meeting, he'd be on the coach with us," Mowbray said. "We may yet decide to put him in a cab or whatever to get him there.

"Joe [Anderson] will be on the coach with us. I think it's important they get a feel of being part of the group and the team on a matchday, and the message we send to them and the way we want to play.”

Mowbray has said he has been incredibly impressed with Anderson in training, although he admits he has some work to do in order to move up the pecking order at Sunderland.

"How far away are they [from playing]? I think circumstance will dictate,” Mowbray explained.

“Centre-halves, we were talking about Luke O'Nien being available again next week and Joe will be behind Luke to get back in the team."

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