O’neill: I’ve got 2 games



MARTIN O’NEILL reck­ons he is al­ready un­der pres­sure af­ter ad­mit­ting strug­gling Sun­der­land are in trou­ble.

Just 24 hours af­ter of­fi­cially tak­ing charge as Black Cats boss, the no-non­sense Ir­ish­man in­sists the heat is on to lead the Wearside club away from dan­ger.

Sun­der­land have won only two games this sea­son to leave them a point above the drop zone be­fore Sun­day’s crunch visit by third­bot­tom Black­burn Rovers.

Af­ter sign­ing a three-year con­tract worth £40,000-a-week, boy­hood fan O’neill ad­mits the best he can hope for from fans is a two-game hon­ey­moon pe­riod.

He added: “Re­al­ity has to set in and we have to start win­ning games pretty quickly.

“We’re in a lit­tle bit of trou­ble at the mo­ment but we just have to go out and win on Sun­day. It’s very im­por­tant for us and the play­ers are aware of that.

“Con­fi­dence isn’t high right now but we’ll look at that, and the sooner we can win matches the bet­ter.

“We’ve been los­ing games and we could have had a few more points on the board.

“It’s some­thing we need to ad­dress but from what I’ve seen of the play­ers there’s a good, pos­i­tive spirit here.

“I’m a gen­uine Sun­der­land sup­porter, but I don’t want to play too much on that, as it will prob­a­bly only give me two games’ grace.

“We’re in the re­sults busi­ness. I want to make it a suc­cess if I can.” BOLTON cen­tre-half Gary Cahill has had his claim for wrong­ful dis­missal at Tot­ten­ham up­held.

The Eng­land in­ter­na­tional was sent off af­ter just 17 min­utes of the 3-0 de­feat at White Hart Lane for a foul on Scott Parker just in­side his own half.

Ref­eree Stu­art Atwell had shown the red card for deny­ing an ob­vi­ous scor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

How­ever, Bolton lodged an ap­peal and an independent panel agreed with their claim for wrong­ful dis­missal, the FA have con­firmed.

As a re­sult, the Eng­land man’s one-match sus­pen­sion has been with­drawn.


O’neill will tar­get Man United mid­fielder Dar­ron Gib­son and Spurs de­fender Ve­dran Cor­luka af­ter be­ing handed an £10mil­lion Jan­uary warch­est by Sun­der­land’s bil­lion­aire owner El­lis Short.

O’neill urged the Black Cats’ stay-away fans to get be­hind his new regime.

Av­er­age crowds are down 3,000 on last sea­son, and the new man­ager added: “When the Sta­dium of Light is rock­ing, it re­ally is in­tim­i­dat­ing for other teams.

“I’ve man­aged sides against Sun­der­land on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, and they can give you a tor­rid time.”

O’neill will work with his reg­u­lar back-up team of Steve Wal­ford and Sea­mus Mc­don­agh.

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