‘We must beware in-form Sunderland striker’ – ex-Black Cats boss

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher
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REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has warned his players to beware Sunderland’s Scotland striker Steven Fletcher as they attempt to maintain their Euro 2016 momentum.

The in-form Black Cats frontman could stand between the Republic and their hopes of adding three more points to their qualification fund in Glasgow tonight having finally shaken off the run of injuries which have hampered him in recent seasons.

It was O’Neill who, during his spell as Black Cats manager, paid Wolves £12m for the 27-year-old’s services in August 2012.

And he remains convinced that the 11 goals he scored before joining the casualty list in his first season kept the club in the Premier League.

He said: “Steven is a very good player.

“I signed him for Sunderland and my own view was that his goals were instrumental in keeping the side up, as well as Simon Mignolet’s performances in goal, so the two of them can take great credit for that.

“But he has had a few injury problems – he was injured for Scotland at the back end of that particular season and he has fought his way back, so he is in very good form at the moment.”