James McClean’s crucial cameo against Blackburn Rovers last weekend has pushed him to the brink of a place in the starting line-up for tomorrow’s trip to Tottenham, says Martin O’Neill.
The 22-year-old changed the game for Sunderland when he came on as a 76th-minute substitute last Sunday – the left-winger’s willingness to take on his man and his ability to get quick, dangerous crosses in, transforming the mood of anxious supporters and creating the conditions for a superb fight-back and eventual victory.
And manager O’Neill says he has been impressed enough to want involve the former Derry City wideman more first-team involvement in the weeks ahead.
“Jamie did great,” said the Black Cats’ boss.
“I think it was that ‘no fear’ mentality, going into the game which served him so well.
“He did really great.
“He just gave us that spark.
“He put a cross in immediately, we had a chance from it, and everyone was enthused.”
* Full story in tonight’s Football Echo