MARTIN O’Neill says he is looking forward to a fascinating game of football tomorrow when a Gareth Bale-inspired Tottenham Hotspur side comes to the Stadium of Light, writes Graeme Anderson.
Spurs are chasing a Champions League spot and are full of star quality - not least 11-goal leading goalscorer Jermain Defoe as well as quality attackers Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Lennon.
But O’Neill knows it is the in-form Bale – scorer of a Boxing Day hat-trick in the 4-0 defeat of Aston Villa – that everyone in football is talking about.
“He’s an exceptional player,” said O’Neill. “He has to be one of the best players in Europe and he’s playing in a side that is full of confidence and full of goals.
“But we’re in good shape after our win over Manchester City and we’re really looking forward to the game.
“The fans were terrific in the game away at Southampton and against City and we’ll have their backing tomorrow and the atmosphere they create can ony help us.
“Spurs will be very difficult opponents but so were Manchester City.”