Jack Ross drops big hint on Luke O'Nien's future Sunderland role and position

Jack Ross says that Luke O’Nien will be given an opportunity in his natural midfield position during pre-season.

By Phil Smith
Tuesday, 09 July, 2019, 06:00
Luke O'Nien is set for a chance to impress further forward in pre-season

O’Nien played mostly as a right-back last season due to injuries picked up by Adam Matthews and Donald Love.

The youngster did a sterling job and became an instant cult hero due to his attitude and energy on the park.

He made 52 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals.

But speaking to safc.com, manager Jack Ross said that the signing of Northern Ireland international Conor McLaughlin will give O’Nien the chance to play further forward in midfield.

“First and foremost, it was very obviously a position that was a priority to fill in our squad with Adam [Matthews] leaving,” he said.

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“Luke did a terrific job last season but we know that he still has attributes to offer further up the park and we want to explore that during the pre-season period as well.

“So it was a priority for us, Conor was available for free after leaving Millwall, is a proven player both in League One and the Championship, and has international experience,” he added.

“Then you do your due diligence in terms of talking to people who have worked with him and they’re complimentary about him both as a character and as a player.

“There’s a lot of pluses about having Conor in the group, he’s settled very quickly and also has a versatility about the positions he can play defensively and that can help us as well.”