O'Neill: I'm going nowhere

Martin O'Neill insists he is going nowhere after Sunderland were forced to dismiss claims he had offered his resignation.

Last Updated: 26/11/12 at 22:59 Post Comment

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has insisted he is going nowhere after the club was forced to dismiss claims he had offered his resignation.

Wearside was buzzing on Saturday evening, hours after the Black Cats' 4-2 home defeat by West Brom, as rumours of the Ulsterman's departure spread like wildfire with the help of Twitter.

But O'Neill admitted he was as surprised as anyone as club officials spent the evening denying the speculation.

The 60-year-old, who will celebrate 12 months at the Stadium of Light next month, said: "Yes, it was a bit of a surprise, really. Nothing probably should surprise me in the game, but yes.

"There was nothing in it. Anybody can tweet these days. I think it happened a couple of years ago as well, something like that, a similar sort of thing.

"But that's the nature of it. But no, I was pretty surprised."

It was not the first time talk of O'Neill's impending demise had swept the city in recent weeks, but as he prepared his players for Tuesday night's Barclays Premier League clash with QPR, the manager was adamant that it was business as usual.

Asked if he was planning to go anywhere, he said emphatically: "Absolutely not."

The speculation has come amid a sequence of poor results for Sunderland, where less than a year ago fans had hailed the arrival of O'Neill as their long-coveted manager.

A battling 2-1 victory over Blackburn at the Stadium of Light proved the perfect start, and a run of seven wins and a draw in his first 10 league games - his only defeats came, narrowly, at Tottenham and Chelsea - further enhanced his reputation with fans delighted at his arrival.

However, the last 26 league games have brought just four victories - the last three of them against sides reduced to 10 men - and yielded only 24 points from a possible 78.

O'Neill acknowledges the need for an improvement on those statistics, starting with Tuesday night's game, although he is refusing to classify it as a must-win affair.

He said: "We have got a fairly lengthy time to go. It's an important game, it's every bit as important as the game against West Bromwich Albion, and the one against Fulham, of course.

"It would be nice to win the match. I wouldn't say it's going to define everything, but all games are important."

The Black Cats' hopes of securing a morale-boosting victory are not being helped by injuries to defender John O'Shea and midfielder Lee Cattermole, both of whom are fighting against the clock to recover.

In addition, they will be the first side to encounter Rangers under the leadership of new manager Harry Redknapp, and O'Neill is well aware of the galvanising effect the former Tottenham manager's arrival could have on an expensively-assembled squad.

He said: "We are not capable of treating anybody lightly, far from it. We are not good enough to do that at all.

"But in many aspects with him coming in, it's a game for us that we know now the players' concentration has to be absolutely at its height.

"We have just got to go and try to create some chances against a side that looked as if it had played very well against Manchester United, so they will come, even though they haven't won yet, with plenty of confidence themselves.

"From all accounts - and I have watched a good deal of the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford - they played very well, took the lead and played very well up until the equalising goal.

"Manchester United, of course, are a very fine side, but in terms of performance, they will have gained a great deal from that."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

Gab1965
Make Way For A Proper Genius, Brendan

B

est player award should not go to a player who's second best at all the importent categories (i.e goals, assists etc) just because his team is at the top. If you are not first you are last; if you're second you are the first loser ( looking at you Hazard). David De Gea for POTY.

mrbigstuff
Chelsea Not Worthy? Oh Please Stop It...

Y

ou can win five in a row or lose five in a row... Or in Carver's case you can win one in a row or lose five in a row.

black_waltz
Carver: I'm up to the job

Footer 365

Tom Cleverley credits Tim Sherwood for turning around Villa's fortunes

Tom Cleverley says Aston Villa have been transformed by Tim Sherwood's attacking mentality.

Tottenham move perfect for me, says Dele Alli

Dele Alli is looking forward to getting his Tottenham career started and feels it will be good for him to work under Mauricio Pochettino.

Robin van Persie plays first game in nine weeks for Man Utd

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie got an hour's play under his belt on Monday in his first game since February.

Mail Box

Klopp Over Rodgers? Not On Your Nelly

Liverpool fans have short memories and should give Rodgers more time, while Jose's tactics and claims are getting many more in a stew. It's the afternoon Mailbox...

Thank You And Goodbye, Mr Rodgers

The genius of Tactics Tim, time is up for Rodgers, the curious case of Eric Lamela, and the flaws of tactical voting - today's Mailbox is bursting at the seams...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company