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O'Neill eyes defensive deals

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill admits he has made defensive reinforcements his top priority for this summer.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 13:04 Post Comment

Martin O'Neill: Planning to bolster Sunderland's defensive options

Martin O'Neill: Planning to bolster Sunderland's defensive options

The Black Cats could see their defensive options limited at the end of the season with two players out of contract and two loan signings due to their return to their parent clubs.

Centre-backs Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon see their contracts expire in the summer, while loan signings Danny Rose and Kader Mangane are set to return to Tottenham and Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal respectively.

O'Neill knows he must bolster his defensive options and he concedes the full-back spots are his biggest two areas of concern with Phil Bardsley the only recognised full-back on the books at the Stadium of Light.

"Phil is the only recognised full-back we have at the football club and it's something we have to look at in the summer," O'Neill told the Sunday Sun.

"Craig Gardner has dropped back from midfield to play there while Phil has been out - and has done very well - but he's not a specialist.

"Ideally, we need competition for places but we also need players playing in their proper positions, and the positions that they feel most comfortable in."

O'Neill added: "Since I've been here at the football club, we haven't had a specialist left-back.

"Kieran Richardson played there last season but he wouldn't really consider himself a left-back.

"Danny Rose has been here on loan and he has done really well when he has played, but still that is a position that we would have to look at in the summer."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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