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O'Neill Will Assess Wickham in Pre-Season
O'Neill Will Assess Wickham in Pre-Season
Saturday, 5th May 2012 09:19

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill says he needs to see former Blues striker Connor Wickham in action over a run of games in order to make an assessment of the 19-year-old. The England U21 international has been linked with a loan return to Town next season with manager Paul Jewell and chief executive Simon Clegg both admitting that the Blues would be interested should Wickham become available.

O’Neill said: "I will get a better idea of him in pre-season. He will get a proper opportunity, seeing him in back-to-back games and against some decent opposition. I will then be under less pressure to find an immediate solution like I have been in my first season.

“Since I arrived it has been stop-start for him, particularly with niggling injuries. He picked up an injury at Spurs and was not fully fit against Blackburn, and I was delighted with him.

"Then he picked up another injury and was out of contention. He twisted an ankle a couple of weeks ago.

“He needs a run of games for me to form a proper opinion of what he can do in the Premier League. I don't want bit-part players, I want him to be a leading light."

Wickham joined Sunderland from the Blues last summer for an initial fee of £8.1 million but has made only six starts and 12 sub appearances this season, scoring one goal.

Photo: Action Images

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walberswick added 09:35 - May 5
So the Wickham loan is really a bit of spin from Clegg

brian_a_mul added 10:01 - May 5
O Neill wants Wickham to be a leading light for Sunderland.
He must have high hopes for Connor, I really hope Connor can keep injury free and make a big impact at Sunderland next season.
At least we know Wickham is working with one of the best managers out there!!

RYITFC added 10:15 - May 5
What we can't do is let other clubs dictate our fortunes. Too many times we are waiting for other clubs to make there mind up, like the St Ledger saga in January. Let's look at other targets and get them in ready for next season.

Mark added 11:18 - May 5
Wickham left Ipswich as an 18-year-old first team regular having scored a few goals, he went to the Premier League for big money and has only featured 15 times all season, scoring once. This can't be good for his development and this sort of thing is a big part of the reason that the England team underachieves so much in my opinion.

Vic added 11:43 - May 5
Too many injuries for a young player, Had them here, had them at sunderland. Not a good sign me thinks.

RetroBlue added 13:15 - May 5
So O'Neil wants to see CW over a run of games does he?...Perhaps O'Neil would have a better idea about Wickham if he actually ever played him them, ffs !

olimar added 17:30 - May 5
"So O'Neil wants to see CW over a run of games does he?...Perhaps O'Neil would have a better idea about Wickham if he actually ever played him them, ffs !"

He said that he had pressure to find a quick solution, so couldnt risk him when he first came in. Then he said that he couldnt get a run of games because of injuries. Seems reasonable to me.

parhamblue added 14:38 - May 6
Connor, you're in good hands by the sound of it: If you come to ITFC (hopefully on season loan) it will be the right decision for you.

RegencyBlue added 16:34 - May 6
Can't afford to wait for O'Neil to make his mind up about Wickham, we need players in early!

We could wait for him and it never happens.

Move on!

Talbs77 added 20:44 - May 6
I agree we've had far too many loan players the last 5 years with the only sucessful ones Bullard and Murphy, and look what happened when Bullard signed permanently!

Don't get me wrong I think Wickham will become a really good player and really hopes he fulfils his potential at Sunderland as he's working for one of the best managers in th game but its time the club forgot about loans and goes for permanent young players.

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