Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill says all his squad will get a chance to shine over the New Year

Sunderland's manager Martin O'Neill will be making use of his full squad over the festive period.

Sunderland's manager Martin O'Neill will be making use of his full squad over the festive period.

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MARTIN O’Neill says he will be making the most of his squad as he prepares his players for three games in the space of seven days.

Having successfully negotiated a busy start to his Sunderland career, with four games in his first three weeks in charge, the Black Cats’ boss is now turning his attention to Premier League matches against Manchester City and Wigan Athletic and then the FA Cup tie at Peterborough in the first week of 2012.

“It’s a punishing schedule,” O’Neill told Sportmail.

“For that reason, I know I’ll have to make the very best use of the squad we have here.

“It’s not ideal, to have so many games in such a short space of time, but if we try to look positively at it, it will mean everyone should get a chance to be part of the squad.

“There’s possibly quite a number of players who were playing under Steve Bruce who might hope the new manager thinks about things a little differently. But it’s all about taking your chances.

“Eventually, if you have the opportunity to play, you have to take that opportunity to shine.”

Read more of Martin O’Neill’s comments in today’s Sportmail.