kader mangane

O’Neill on Mangane progress

by Kate Smith

New defender closing in on full fitness.

Martin O’Neill feels Kader Mangane is still “a week or two” away from full fitness but says his newest signing is working hard to catch up.

O’Neill drafted in the hulking defender – who stands at 6’5” – last week but didn’t include him in the squad for the win at Wigan.

The defender, who has joined on loan from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, watched on from the stands as his new colleagues won 3-2 at the DW Stadium.

Since then it’s been hard work for the Senegalese centre-back, who has been putting the hours in on the training ground with a view to being involved very soon.

“There was a problem right up until the eleventh hour with his international clearance, and although it did come through late on I had already made my mind up about what I was going to do,” O’Neill told safc.com.

“I thought it was best for him, with only a couple of days’ training, to come along and watch the team and see how we prepare for games.

“He had the opportunity to sit and watch his team-mates, who in all fairness he probably wouldn’t know a great deal about.

“Kader’s been in training this week and has been working pretty hard.

“It’ll be a week or two before he’s fit but we hope he can play his part.”