Sunderland’s McClean must go on the attack, says O’Shea

STANDING FIRM ... James McClean.
STANDING FIRM ... James McClean.
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JOHN O’SHEA says Sunderland team-mate James McClean should sacrifice some of his defensive responsibilities to go on the attack.

McClean has been relegated to the bench for Sunderland’s last three games, despite producing a more encouraging run of form over the festive period.

But the 23-year-old will get a starting chance tonight when he lines up for Ireland against Poland in a friendly at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

O’Shea, who will captain Giovanni Trapattoni’s side, believes McClean has progressed over recent months, but insists the former Derry City winger needs to focus on creating, rather than lending a helping hand to his full-back.

The former Manchester United defender said: “The maturity shows, especially defensively. He probably does it too much - he helps out his full-back too much. He probably needs to concentrate more on his attacking game.

“It’s a great opportunity for him tonight and I am more than confident he will take it with both hands because he has got the hunger to do well.

“He hasn’t played the last couple of games for Sunderland, but just before that a couple of months ago, he was scoring goals again and starting to show what I know especially James is capable of and what he has shown in the last couple of days in training.

“Once you are doing the right things off the pitch, it should come right for you on it, and he has definitely been doing that.”