MARTIN O’Neill admits Phil Bardsley is struggling to be fit for this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.
The Sunderland full-back sustained a calf problem in last Saturday’s defeat at West Brom, which ruled him out of Scotland’s friendly in Slovenia last night.
Bardsley is undergoing further tests and treatment on the injury, but the 26-year-old, one of just four survivors from the starting XI in last season’s defeat on Tyneside, is a major doubt for Sunday’s trip to the Sports Direct Arena.
Black Cats boss O’Neill told SportMail: “Phil felt really tight in his calf after the game.
“At this minute, if the game was today, he’d be really struggling which would be a big blow.”
Read full story, plus all the build-up to the big Tyne/Wear derby this weekend, in today’s Sportmail.