Sunderland boss David Moyes was handed a double boost on Tuesday night after Jan Kirchhoff and Jason Denayer came through 90 minutes.
Both played in the Checkatrade Trophy draw with Rochdale and both are now considered to be pushing for first team action.
For Kirchhoff is was his first game since he picked up a hamstring strain in the penultimate pre-season game of their campaign, while it was also Manchester City loanee Denayer’s first 90 minutes for the club.
Black Cats boss David Moyes was watching from the stands as first team coach Robbie Stockdale took charge of the side.
Stockdale told the Gazette: “Jan is a good player and to get over that hurdle of 90 minutes can only do him good.
“We will see how he is over the next couple of days.“It can only be a positive for the first team though and for Jan himself that he has that game under his belt.“Jason too, this game was perfect for him.”