Premier League

Sbragia - Cisse is focused

Black Cats boss plays down concerns

Sbragia: Not worried about Cisse

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Ricky Sbragia believes Djibril Cisse is in the right frame of mind to play for Sunderland against West Ham.

The Frenchman was arrested on suspicion of common assault following an incident outside a lap-dancing bar earlier this week.

He was later released on police bail and Sbragia has no concerns about whether the arrest may have affected him ahead of the crucial match at Upton Park.

"Djibril knows how we feel," said the Black Cats boss.

"We have a code of discipline that he's aware of and if we have to, we'll deal with it, but he trained well yesterday, he looked focused."

Balancing act

Sbragia will have to assess the fitness of his international players before finalising his squad for Saturday's match.

Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards could both be doubtful after playing for Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup qualifier against USA in Nashville on Wednesday night.

"It's a big game and I would like to play my best team but we'll have to see how they are," said Sbragia.

"These international games do not help. I can understand why they want to play for their country, it's an honour, but we could do with our game at West Ham being on Sunday - maybe it should happen after international games.

"It's a balancing act, we have to find out how they are physically, the travelling can really take it out of them.

"I'll ask the players who have been travelling how they are mentally and physically, but it's not always easy to get an honest answer.

"We meet Kenwyne and Carlos in London and we have provided people down there to look after them. It's not ideal but we just have to get on with it."