Sunderland skipper on 'difficult decisions' facing Chris Coleman

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.
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Skipper John O'Shea believes Sunderland manager Chris Coleman will have some "difficult decisions" to make when he has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Sunderland have a busy festive schedule with a Boxing Day trip to Sheffield United before another away day at Nottingham Forest this Saturday ahead of the New Year's Day visit of Barnsley to the Stadium of Light.

O'Shea believes the whole squad has a key role to play in the upcoming fixtures, with Sunderland naming a strong bench for the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City on Saturday.

Aiden McGeady, Callum McManaman and Bryan Oviedo were all on the bench alongside Josh Maja, Joel Asoro and Didier Ndong.

O'Shea said: "We know we are going to need everybody over the next few games, the way the fixtures fall.

"We showed against Birmingham City the quality we have on the bench, with Aiden and Callum not getting on.

"I'm sure they will be itching to get on the pitch and show their quality, they are showing it in training.

"Everyone has to make sure they are giving the manager a difficult decision when it comes to picking the team.

"We have other bodies close to getting back to and there will be difficult decisions for the manager to make.

"That is what managers want, to have the squad competing and when we do that we always get better results."

The Sunderland skipper was disappointed not to build on the win over Fulham with another win in front of the home support.

Lewis Grabban cancelled out Sam Gallagher's 16th minute opener and Sunderland failed to take advantage of having a man advantage when Gallagher saw red in the second half.

O'Shea added: "Little bit of frustration, especially when they went down to ten men with 20 minutes to go.

"We need to have that bit more patience and quality at times, sometimes it is that bit more difficult when teams go down to ten, like we showed at Wolves.

"You are in your shape that bit quicker and you are there to frustrate rather than have that ambition to attack a bit more.

"Disappointing but we took something from the game after conceding a goal.

"Robbin had a few comfortable saves to make but there wasn't really much else to worry him in the game.

"You want to back up the first home win with another home win but we take the point and move on quickly.

"Credit to Birmingham, they kept their shape well," he told the club website.