Football Echo: O’Neill faces up to crunch, with Sunderland dropping into the drop zone

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Martin O’Neill’s first match as Sunderland manager is the centre piece of tonight’s unbeatable Football Echo.

O’Neill tells the Football Echo of his wish for the Black Cats’ strikers to take a gamble in the box, starting in tomorrow’s crucial Premier League game against Blackburn at the Stadium of Light (1.30pm).

It is an even more important showdown for Sunderland, who dropped into the bottom three today, with Wigan clambering out of the drop zone with a come-from-behind win at Wigan.

As well as O’Neill’s views on the game and the players he has inherited, we have live reports from all today’s Premier League games, including Newcastle’s 4-2 defeat at Norwich.

We also speak to James McClean, John O’Shea, David Vaughan and Keith Bertschin, plus Yesterdays looks back to 1975 – and the final goal of Ian Porterfield’s Sunderland career.

Marco Gabbiadini gives his views on the first week of Martin O’Neill in the Sunderland legend’s exclusive column, Tony Gillan chews the fat in his unmissable View From The Bridge and Brian Patterson gives his away guide to Tottenham, where Sunderland play next week.

We’ve also got five pages of local football and an eight-page Junior Football Echo, with all the latest reports and pictures from the Russell Foster Youth League.

The Football Echo is the best read of the week, so don’t miss it. It’s out tonight, priced 70p.