New Sunderland boss O’Neill will wait on Bendtner

Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner
Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner

MARTIN O’Neill will give Nicklas Bendtner to the very last moment to prove his fitness for tomorrow’s game against Blackburn Rovers, so important is the Dane to his plans.

The new Sunderland boss is desperate to improve his side in the striking department and recognises the value of the Danish international who has struggled to make an impact in the Premier League in his last few games but still has five goals to his credit in his last five games for his country.

And while O’Neill will not risk the on-loan Arsenal man if there’s a chance of aggravating the groin strain he sustained against Wolves last weekend, he does see him as central to his strategy tomorrow (kick-off 1.30pm, live on Sky Sports 1).

Having told SportMail at his first press conference that if the game had been played midweek the striker would have no chance of playing, O’Neill revealed: “Nicklas is still struggling with the groin problem but we hope will be OK.

“It helps in the respect that the game takes place on a Sunday rather than a Saturday – that gives him an extra day – but I think he knows the importance of the game to us and is doing his best to involved.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story