Martin O'Neill

MON boosted by returnees

by Stuart Vose

Boss delighted with full complement.

Martin O'Neill is delighted to have a full complement of players to work with once more.

The Sunderland chief handed extra time off to a number of his stars involved in international action over the summer.

All have now returned giving O'Neill almost a full squad for the first time in pre-season ahead of this weekend's trip to Sweden to face Helsingborgs IF.

"We've got the lads back from the European Championships, as well as [Stephane] Sessegnon and [Ahmed] Elmohamady, and it's better when everyone's here," he told SAFC TV.

"Most of them are pretty fit and will catch up soon enough. We're feeling a wee bit better for having them around.

"They've had a decent break and appreciate the extra time off, but now we have the Helsingborgs game and two other matches coming in.

"As time draws in we have to focus on getting ready for the season ahead."

He added: "We've had three matches now and it's time to get into that 'season coming' mode.

"Maybe that was my disappointment after the Hartlepool game, but it's nothing to get too concerned about."