Sunderland defender Michael Turner will greatly assist the clubs attempt to climb the Premier League table says assistant coach Eric Black.

The 27-year old made his first appearance since the end of April in the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on the weekend and Black is confident his return from a knee injury will only benefit the Black Cats.

"I thought Michael did very well under the circumstances," he told the club's official website.

"Having been out for so long and bearing in mind Michael's size, it can take him a little bit of time to get over things.

"He's been unbelievably diligent in the gym, doing everything that's been asked of him.

"Michael deserves his place in the team and it was great to see him back. He brings a strong mentality and toughness which assists our back four."

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