Sunderland trio start for Ireland

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
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SUNDERLAND players Keiren Westwood, John O’Shea and James McClean will all start tonight’s friendly for the Republic of Ireland against Greece at the Aviva Stadium.

David Meyler, now out on loan at Hull City should be on the bench.

It is expected to be a rare starting opportunity for McClean in his preferred left-wing position and O’Shea – who will again captain the international side – believes the wide man can shine despite finding the going tough in the opening few months of Sunderland’s season.

He said: “It has been tough for the team in general I think, not just James.

“It’s about a team collectively, not just about the one individual. We should all be doing a lot better.

“Our performances in the last few games have probably deserved more points than we have got, but as the manager has spoken about at club level, we will be okay as long as our attitude and our determination stays the same because we have got a lot of belief around the team that we have and the squad that we have.

“As for James, he’s come on in leaps and bounds. He was the surprise factor last season. He came in when the manager took over, he got into the team and took everything right in his stride.

“You are obviously more aware of a talent like that over the course of time and now teams are marking him more tightly.

“They are doubling up on him.

“So it’s up to us to get the ball to James in better positions, get it to him quicker.

“It’s up to us to make sure we are giving the ball to him in situations where he can show the talent that he undoubtedly has.”