O'Neill Doesn't Want To Face Graham

Last updated : 28 January 2013 By Tott Dixon - Seaham

And the Sunderland boss hopes a deal with Graham can be sorted BEFORE he lines up against his side on Tuesday.


With Fraizer Campbell having left the club for Cardiff, Ji Dong-won having joined German side Augsburg on loan for the rest of the season and Louis Saha shipping out ... he needs reinforcements.

Swansea's Danny Graham, who could line up against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tomorrow night, is at the top of O'Neill's wish-list, and with time running down, efforts to plug the gaps in their front line are gathering pace ahead of Thursday's deadline.

The Ulsterman has studiously declined to identify his targets for the January window.

Martin O'Neill: "Of course we need strikers, of course it is the priority.

"There was always interest in Fraizer and we said we would prefer him not to go, if that was the case, until we had got someone else in.

"I felt this was a big opportunity for Fraizer. He didn't want to disappear and so I allowed him to go.

"But I am hopeful that something will develop for us. We have got a couple of days left and we are hoping ourselves that we can add somebody else to the squad if at all possible.

"We are still looking there because come February 1, that's it. But we will see what we can do.

"There are some days left here and we will try to do something about it. I am hopeful, but there's nothing guaranteed.

"I would like to try to improve the squad if we can. It's not always that easy, but we will try to do it.

"If we are left with this [squad], then we would have to try to manage it as best we can, but I am still hoping we can do something."


The Swansea City striker is due to undertake a medical with the Black Cats as he finalises a move to the Stadium of Light.


Martin O’Neill has targeted the striker to take some of the goalscoring pressure off Steven Fletcher at the Stadium of Light.

According to reports in Wales ... Graham had been holding out for a move to boyhood club Newcastle United after learning of interest from Alan Pardew last week.

But Newcastle are reluctant to pay the asking price and the 27-year-old is expected to complete a switch to his native north-east imminently after Sunderland and Swansea agreed a fee of around £5 million. 

Norwich City had also tabled a bid for Graham but the player is not interested in joining Chris Hughton’s team.


O'Neill 'I Feel We Can Beat Barcelona And Real Madrid'

Martin O'Neill is pleased with Sunderland's rise up the table over the last few weeks and wants to keep confidence in the camp high.

He has seen the Black Cats take 15 points from their last six games, catapulting them into 11th position in the Premier League.


Martin O’Neill (talking to the Sunderland Echo): “Naturally I’m delighted, because first and foremost we have won five of our last eight league games which is very important.

“Those wins were necessary. If you win a couple of games in this league, you feel like you can beat Barcelona and Real Madrid combined, whereas if you lose a couple you want to know where the next point is coming from.

“Outside the top four or five sides, who can conjure more wins than normal, it’s the same for a lot of clubs.

“That said you still have to go into games with as much confidence as possible and not let yourself be affected by set-backs. We did that well at Wigan.

“Our form has been really good in the league and the most important issue now is to add wins.

“We’ll go into Tuesday’s game with great confidence again.”


Sunderland Fixtures

Tuesday January 29 19:45 Sunderland v Swansea City
Saturday February 2 15:00 Reading v Sunderland
Saturday February 9 15:00 Sunderland v Arsenal
Saturday February 23 15:00 West Brom Sunderland
Saturday March 2 15:00 Sunderland v Fulham
Saturday March 9 15:00 QPR v Sunderland