Big summer decisions must be taken quickly so Sunderland can look to the future

John O'Shea is out of contract this summer
John O'Shea is out of contract this summer
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Sunderland have big decisions to make on a host of players this summer – and John O’Shea says it is important those are taken quickly so focus can shift to the future.

The Black Cats’ 10-year Premier League stay ended with last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth, with the club braced for a major summer of change.

Several first-team players – including skipper O’Shea – are out of contract, while in-demand Jermain Defoe, Lamine Kone and Jordan Pickford could all be moved on too, with loanees Adnan Januzaj, Jason Denayer and Javier Manquillo heading back to their parent clubs.

Other players in the final months of their current deals include Jan Kirchhoff, Seb Larsson, Steven Pienaar, Joleon Lescott and Victor Anichebe.

O’Shea has previously admitted he would like to stay, but he said the situation was not in his hands.

The Irishman hopes things can settle down quickly. “Everyone has to take stock of everything,” said O’Shea.

“There will be changes again in terms of the squad personnel.

“That’s a natural thing in terms of players out of contract, players that might leave, players that the club might have a decision to make about – all those things need to settle down in the next few weeks.

“Hopefully it gets done nice and quickly and the concentration is focused on the squad that will be here and full focus given to everyone who can get us bouncing, because when the momentum is right at this club its a hell of a thing to stop.

“Getting things right as quickly as possible will be important to everybody at the club.”

Sunderland return to the second tier after a decade at the top table, knowing they can’t afford to make another poor start to a season.

The Wearsiders made their worst ever start to a season this term, going 10 Premier League games without a win.

A run they never recovered from, relegation confirmed with four games to go.

And the need for a positive start to the new season in the Championship isn’t lost on O’Shea.

When asked how important it is to start well next season, the 36-year-old said: “There’s no point me saying that – I’ve been saying every year that we need to go on a quality run.”