Two stars missing as Sunderland aim to beat Everton

Stephane Sessegnon

Stephane Sessegnon

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SUNDERLAND’S dreadful record against Everton in recent years is not worrying Martin O’Neill in the slightest.

The Black Cats boss was made aware of his side’s poor record against Everton in general and at Goodison Park in particular, this week.

Sunderland head to Merseyside for tomorrow’s FA Cup quarter-final looking for their first win against Everton since 2001, and their first at Goodison Park since 1998 but O’Neill says that’s the least of his worries.

“I’m not really aware of these records until they are mentioned to me beforehand,” said O’Neill.

“Eventually, they are there to be broken.

“Everton’s record against us is very, very good but it’s not something that worries me unduly.

“This game itself is enough for me to concern myself with.

“Everton are playing very strongly indeed.

“Their form at Goodison is very good indeed, they have won their games and they are back to the Everton we have known for the last decade.

“It’s not uncommon for Everton to come on strongly at a certain stage of the season, and that’s what they have done again.

“They have been a very, very fine side for some time, and they reached the FA Cup final three years ago, too.

“When you set out in the third round in this competition, if you can fast forward to anything – aside from winning it – you would want a home tie in the quarter-final and Everton have got that.”

Sunderland will again be without top scorer Stephane Sessegnon and skipper Lee Cattermole, both of whom are suspended following their red cards in the Tyne Wear derby a fortnight ago.

Defender Kieran Richardson is a doubt with a calf problem, but O’Neill is hoping that striker Nicklas Bendtner will recover from a knee injury in time to play.

Full story in Friday’s Mail