O’neill wants bad boy Bendt to be Saint Nick
QPR v SUNDERLAND Tonight – 8pm
MARTIN O’NEILL has offered troubled forward Nicklas Bendtner a welcome olive branch.
The Sunderland manager revealed a simple twopoint plan for the on-loan Arsenal striker to make a much-needed return to his good books, and in his bid to win round fed-up Sunderland fans.
Danish international Bendtner issued a grovelling apology after his arrest along with Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole in connection with an alleged car-wrecking spree in the shadow of Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
That came on the back of tales of outlandish behaviour on the Copenhagen-born player’s return visits to Denmark’s capital.
And together with his far from prolific return of two goals from 11 games, this has made for an unhappy few months for the 23-year-old.
O’neill is happy to offer a spot of advice to help Bendtner, insisting: “It’s two basic things I’d say to him. Win us some matches. And behave yourself.
“If he does that, then he will be really popular with me.
“Since I arrived, I’ve seen that he’s popular in the dressing room. I just want him to be popular in the manager’s office as well!”
Sunderland have struggled to find the net since Darren Bent’s departure for O’neill’s former club Aston Villa.
And the 59-year-old manager added: “Centre forwards in times gone by received all the glory for scoring goals, and that never ever changes. If you score goals you become pretty popular at this football club. It’s what the fans are crying out for.”
DJ Campbell reckons QPR’S finances means they will avoid following Blackpool’s path to relegation.
Rangers striker Campbell was part of the Seasiders side that started last season on fire – before plunging into the bottom three during the second half of the campaign.
But Campbell is convinced his new club will last the pace because they have the cash to freshen up the squad next month.
The forward said: “We have a chairman who is backing the manager you can see that from the signings he has brought in already.
“It’s great for the fans and it’s been a long time coming. The chairman recognises what a great club this is and where it can be.
“And I’m sure he’ll back the manager and give him the funds to move the team in the right direction.”
O’NEILL-Y THERE: Boss Manager wants Bendtner to regain his form