O’Neill hoping break will aid injury victims.
Martin O’Neill says a trio of injured stars are “not that far away” from being available.
Danny Rose, Carlos Cuellar and Lee Cattermole have all been sidelined of late after picking up injuries.
But O’Neill is hoping a free weekend coming up will aid their cause with a busy league schedule coming up, starting with Tuesday’s home clash with Swansea.
“Hopefully we’ll have that bit of extra freshness ahead of Tuesday’s game,” the Sunderland boss said.
“[The break] is as much about the injured players as anything else – Carlos Cuellar, Danny Rose and Lee Cattermole are all not that far away from being fit again.
“Having won the game [at Wigan] last Saturday, it would have been nice to be involved in the cup again with a chance to play Everton.
“That’s gone now, so we can concentrate fully on Tuesday night.”