Everton v Sunderland

MON boosted by returnees

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

McClean and Wickham available for Canaries visit.

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill says his side go into Sunday’s clash with Norwich with a clean bill of health.

Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown remain the only absentees for the Black Cats with James McClean, Danny Rose and Phil Bardsley all showing good signs of progress. 

Connor went out first of all to get some games and to play competitively and he’s been able to do that there at Sheffield Wednesday.

- Martin O'Neill

And, O’Neill feels all three could feature on Saturday.

“Some of the senior players were able to get a game on Monday evening and that was very, very important to get some game time and get some fitness as well,” he explained.

“Between now and the end of the season we’ll be calling on just about everybody.

“[James McClean] was taken into hospital early on Friday morning and he was discharged on Saturday afternoon but not before he’d gone through rigorous set of tests,” he added.

“He’s recovering and, though, he’s still a little bit weak, he’s pushing himself forward.

“In fairness to the lad, even though he hadn’t been discharged from hospital on the Saturday until around about 11am I phoned him and he asked if he could make his way down to the game.

“It shows you at least he’s still keen to be involved, very keen actually and with a bit of luck if he gets through the next couple of days, he will be.”

Connor Wickham will also be in the squad to face the Canaries after his loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday expired and, though, there was an option to extend the deal, the Northern Irishman felt it necessary to keep the England under-21 international on Wearside.

“Connor went out first of all to get some games and to play competitively and he’s been able to do that there at Sheffield Wednesday.

“He’s started matches, he’s come off the bench as well at Sheffield Wednesday, and I’ve been able to see him play a couple of times as well against Birmingham City and against Watford.

“He’s got some game time which has been very, very good and beneficial for everyone.”