Sunderland boss O’Neill speaks to Bendtner and Cattermole

Martin O'Neill (left) and Harry Redknapp
Martin O'Neill (left) and Harry Redknapp
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MARTIN O’Neill has spoken to bail boys Lee Cattermole and Nicklas Bendtner after they were arrested for a night out in Newcastle during which several cars were vandalised.

Police arrested and interviewed the Sunderland skipper and on-loan Arsenal man last week about an incident which happened on the night of Tuesday, December 6 – the day of Martin O’Neill’s first training session with the players.

And the Sunderland manager confirmed that he has spoken to both players about their conduct as well as talking to the players about the standards he expects of footballers representing the club.

“I have spoken to the players involved,” said O’Neill.

“And I’ve also spoken to the team generally about discipline.

“But what I said, and to whom, I’m not prepared to say.

“Certainly, whenever there’s a situation where potential charges are concerned, I’ve always believed in waiting until proceedings are complete before the club looks to deal with it itself.

“And, as things stand, I have no problem including Lee Cattermole and Nicklas Bendtner in the team.”

Bendtner issued an apology over the weekend, not only for his arrest over the Newcastle incident but about hitting the headlines in his home country amid reports of being involved in a fight in the national team hotel and also of making a fool of himself in a Copenhagen pizzeria.

Bendtner said: “The past couple of weeks have seen me involved in several incidents that have attracted much negative attention from the media.

“I was part of an unfortunate incident at the team hotel where I more or less was portrayed as a violent character – anybody who knows me can testify that I am not.

“Police in the end decided not to press charges.

“In connection with a birthday celebration with my girlfriend I was part of an incident at a pizzeria where my credit card got rejected.

“The latest incident involves me being picked up by polite and friendly English policemen as CCTV footage allegedly shows us in the process of damaging parked cars after a night out on the town.

“This case now has to make its way through the British system of justice and a verdict is expected by February next year.

“In connection with all these incidents. I have to make one thing very, very clear.

“I am extremely sorry for all of this. I apologise sincerely that I have allowed myself to get involved in things that are interpreted in such dramatic fashion. I fully assume responsibility for not distancing myself from these incidents before they got out of hand.

“The error is mine alone and I am sorry that I have let so many people down.

He added: “My primary objective right now is to get rid of my injury and get back into full fitness for Sunderland and Denmark.”