Kone backed to rise again as boss hails O’Shea dis­play

Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Si­mon Grayson has backed Lamine Kone to fight his way back into the Sun­der­land team, but ad­mits that he feels vin­di­cated by John O’Shea’s per­for­mance at Pre­ston.

Kone (pic­tured) was dropped for the Deep­dale trip a fort­night ago, fol­low­ing the 5-2 drub­bing at Ip­swich four days ear­lier, a team dis­play lit­tered with in­di­vid­ual er­rors.

The Black Cats then con­ceded twice in three min­utes against Pre­ston, but O’Shea’s dis­play im­pressed his man­ager, who will also con­sider re­call­ing Marc Wil­son – for to­mor­row’s visit of QPR – now that the Ir­ish­man has re­cov­ered from a groin in­jury.

Grayson said: “Marc Wil­son has been out for a cou­ple of games, Lamine was left out at Pre­ston purely for tac­ti­cal rea­sons, and we de­cided to go with John and Tyias (Brown­ing) and they played very well.

“It was no re­flec­tion on Lamine re­ally. We went for a team to get us a re­sult and a per­for­mance, and we got that – un­for­tu­nately we just didn’t quite get the win.

“With John O’Shea, you know what you are go­ing to get. He’s an ex­pe­ri­enced player, he’s played at the high­est level at in­ter­na­tional and club football, and I just felt his ex­pe­ri­ence a nd his voice would be a big help to every­body and that was proved on the day.” Grayson will be temptto ed name the same de­fence that se­cured the point at Pre­ston, though Bryan Oviedo will be in con­tention af­ter re­turn­ing from in­ter­na­tional duty.

Kone faces a fight to win back his place, but Grayson says he has re­sponded well to be­ing dropped last time out. He said: “He’s been good. “He’s trained all this week – he came back from Mali on Mon­day or Tues­day. He’s been fine, I spoke to him about it all, he ac­cepts the de­ci­sion like ev­ery other player. I make a de­ci­sion on what I think is best for the team. I think it was proved right to a cer­tain de­gree.

“All he needs to is keep work­ing hard and, if he gets picked on Satur­day show what he can do. I don’t think he’s been to blame for many of the goals, to be fair.

“In­di­vid­u­ally, we’ve made mis­takes and col­lec­tively we have to be bet­ter and harder to play against.”

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