Sunderland’s Martin O’Neill: Cup plans won’t be affected

BROLLY BAD SHOW: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill (left)  shares an umbrella with Reading boss Brian McDermott
BROLLY BAD SHOW: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill (left) shares an umbrella with Reading boss Brian McDermott
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THE postponement of Sunderland’s Premier League game against Reading will not affect the club’s preparations for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup tie says Martin O’Neill.

The Black Cats were expecting to get into their stride over the weekend, with the Reading match offering extra fitness work for their cup encounter tomorrow.

But manager O’Neill insists that the weekend’s disruption will not be an issue going into tomorrow’s game against the Shrimps.

“As far as the cup game goes, we probably would have trained Sunday anyway with the match being on Tuesday, so it (the postponement) has not really put us out that much,” said O’Neill.

“The cup-tie is very important for us.

“We had a taste for the cup last year and the atmosphere that night against Everton in the FA Cup replay was extraordinary, and showed just what it means to the people here.

“We would love to do well. We have a home tie and really want to make the most of it.

“We just want to give it a real go and show people what we want to do.

“I have not had the chance to see Morecambe myself, but I have had reports and will look at video coverage of them.”

Speaking of the Reading postponement, he said: “In everyone’s defence, there has been a lot of rain.

“On behalf of the football club, I’m really, really disappointed. I’m sorry and I have to apologise.

“The players were obviously very disappointed with the postponement, too.”

O’Neill was hoping for a bounce against Reading after spending £22million to bring Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher to the club the previous day.

The mood was buoyant on Saturday morning in the wake of the ambitious signings, until the rain and cancellation dampened spirits.

But O’Neill is hoping that the feelgood factor will extend into tomorrow and a game which could well involve both new signings.

He said: “The players themselves were lifted by the new signings and and there was just a huge feeling of disappointment on Saturday.

“But, in terms of scheduling, it’s not too bad.

“I think we’ll be all right in terms of injuries from the weekend,” he smiled. “We have come out of it very well.

“Unscathed!”