O’Neill: Sunderland need new blood

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill.
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill.
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MARTIN O’Neill left Liverpool last night more convinced than ever that new blood is needed at Sunderland.

The 3-0 defeat at Anfield saw Stephane Sessegnon take a first-half knock and fail to reappear in the second half.

Several other players have just been getting through games recently and with the manager determined his team will have a better second half of the season than the first, a successful January transfer window is essential.

O’Neill admitted: “We need some reinforcements. We are going to have to have a look, like a lot of other clubs.

“John O’Shea has a hamstring injury and though he is improving, he is definitely out for Saturday.

“But we don’t have Wes Brown available, he’s out long-term, and we have our captain Lee Cattermole out injured so we don’t have many options other than what we had in the squad against Liverpool.”

O’Neill, though, was tight-lipped on Sunderland’s interest in taking former Everton midfielder and Sunderland nemesis Tim Cahill on a short-term loan – the Australian is currently playing his football in America’s MLS but is available during a break in their season.

Sunderland seem ready to move quickly in the area they can affect – off-loading players who are surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light – David Meyler’s move to Hull is expected to be completed soon.

And Ji Dong-won’s loan move to Bundesliga side Augsberg took place within 24 hours of the window re-opening.

But it’s players coming in that Sunderland fans want to see.

West Brom are allowing midfielder Graham Dorrans to leave the club, with the Scot believed to want a club closer to his native Glasgow.

The Baggies, in turn, have been linked with an interest in Sunderland’s Craig Gardner as a possible replacement at the Hawthorns – though whether O’Neill or Gardner would be interested is unknown.

Sunderland have been strongly linked with centre-halves Roland Juhasz of Anderlecht and Fulham’s Brede Hangeland, who is out of contract in the summer.

Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott has also been linked with a move but his wages are likely to rule out a permanent switch, with a loan move the only possible option.