O’Neill to give Sunderland prospects a chance in Peace Cup in Korea


MARTIN O’Neill will give youth a chance this week.

And fringe players too, including Hartlepool-born midfielder Adam Reed, will get an opportunity to catch his eye as the Cats contest the Peace Cup in Korea.

The Sunderland boss flew out from the North East today without many of his natural first team squad on board.

And that has put an emphasis on the young prospects and those hoping to stake their claims for next season.

“I said before the end of the season that the Peace Cup would be an opportunity for a lot of players to get more involvement than they had done previously,” O’Neill told SportMail.

“And it has turned out, we’re taking a very youthful squad out there and they will get a chance to show what they can do.

“One or two of the young lads might not get to play in the games but that shouldn’t matter too much – the fact is that the trip and the experience will benefit them and they’ll have the chance to work closely with the first team.”

Sunderland will be without rested internationals John O’Shea, James McClean, Keiren Westwood, Seb Larsson, Stephane Sessegnon and Ahmed Elmohamady.

Ji Dong-won will miss the competition in his home country because of his call up to the Olympic football squad while Phil Bardsley and Matt Kilgallon withdrew at the weekend with injuries.

That will give great opportunities to the likes of Billy Knott, Louis Laing, John Egan, Craig Lynch, Adam Reed, Ryan Noble, Roarie Deacon, Jordan Pickford and Blair Adams, who trained with the first-team squad last week and headed out with the rest of the tour party today.