O’neill wants bad boy Bendt to be Saint Nick

QPR v SUN­DER­LAND Tonight – 8pm

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

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

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