Sunderland’s Martin O’Neill set to ring changes

Sebastian Larsson.
Sebastian Larsson.
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SEB Larsson, Craig Gardner and Danny Rose are all doubts for tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Middlesbrough after picking up knocks at the weekend.

But Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill plans to tinker with his team anyway and will not risk anyone who is struggling.

“We’ll keep an eye on them and see how they come along,” he told the Echo.

“Seb got a dead leg from the foul on him by Dean Whitehead, Craig got a dead leg too and limped off at the end of the Stoke game and Danny has an ankle injury that he’s been carrying since the England Under 21 game.

“None of the injuries are serious but we’ll see how they are before making decisions on them.

“It’s an opportunity to look at one or two other options but I wouldn’t be thinking of massive changes.

“Stephane Sessegnon looked bright when he came on as a substitute against Stoke City at the weekend having started every game up to that point and sometimes taking a little break can get you re-infused.

“So I might rest a player or two tomorrow night just to take pressure off and allow them a breather.

“We don’t have the biggest of squads though so I’m not expecting to do anything radical

“We have a number of centre-halves on paper for example – but unfortunately Titus Bramble and Wes Brown are casualties at the moment and our options are a little limited.”

Whatever team Sunderland put out, O’Neill will warn his players to show the in-form Championship side due respect.

H O’Neill looks to kick-start season – page 62.