MARTIN O’NEILL will give Lee Cattermole and John O’Shea until the last minute to prove their fitness for tomorrow night’s clash with QPR.
Cattermole and O’Shea both suffered injuries in Saturday’s defeat to West Bromwich Albion, which were expected to rule them out for several weeks.
Skipper Cattermole was forced off after aggravating the knee injury which ruled him out against Everton earlier this month, while O’Shea was substituted at half-time with a calf problem.
But Sunderland boss O’Neill refused to conclusively rule the duo out of tomorrow’s clash, when he faced the media today.
O’Neill said: “We’ve got one or two problems.
“John came off at half-time with a calf injury and Lee came off before that.
“Lee’s making progress, whereas John’s might be slower.
“We don’t know yet whether they’ll be available yet. We’ll give it as long as we can.”
O’Neill expects QPR to be in buoyant mood after the appointment of Harry Redknapp as successor to Mark Hughes in the Loftus Road dug-out.
Redknapp will take charge officially for the first time tomorrow after watching Saturday’s defeat at Manchester United from the stands.
“Harry’s taken over and he’s proved himself to be a very fine manager over the years,” added O’Neill.
“I’m sure he’ll make a big impact there.
“I’ve watched a good deal of the game against Manchester United and they played very well - took the lead and did very well until the equalising goal.
“Manchester United of course are a very fine side.
“But in terms of performance, they’ll have gained a great deal from that.”