MARTIN O’NEILL has warned that Sunderland shouldn’t expect “miracles” from Fraizer Campbell despite the striker’s goal-scoring return from injury, writes CHRIS YOUNG.
Campbell ended 18 months on the sidelines with an equaliser in Sunday’s FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough after replacing Connor Wickham at the interval.
The 24-year-old is a possible starter against Norwich City tonight, although he did suffer fatigue following his exertions at the weekend.
But O’Neill has played down any expectations of Campbell instantly becoming a pivotal figure for the Black Cats after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
O’Neill told the Echo: “It’s really nice to see him back and that has been a big plus.
“But don’t expect miracles from him this minute – that would be the message I’d give out to fans.
“I’m so pleased he’s back and if he could remain fit and healthy for the next two or three months, I’d be ecstatic.
“Fraizer could be fit enough to start tonight. He certainly got a major boost from the goal.
“He was a wee bit tired on Monday, which was very understandable, even though he only played a half.
“It’s a matter of easing him in, but at least he’s had some playing time now in the first team which is so important.
“We’re just delighted to have him in the fold.”
With Nicklas Bendtner still ruled out as he recovers from a broken nose, O’Neill’s attacking options are limited for the visit of his former club.
The Sunderland boss will be wary of handing Campbell a place in the starting XI, yet he may be forced to include the former Manchester United man.
Wickham was ineffective in the opening 45 minutes against Boro and suffered a slight knock which makes him a doubt for tonight’s game.
Fellow summer signing Ji Dong-won is yet to start under O’Neill despite the South Korean striker grabbing the dramatic last-gasp winner in New Year’s Day’s victory over Manchester City.