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Cats crave fit O'Shea

MARTIN O'NEILL says he can't wait to get John O'Shea fit again and back in the Sunderland side.

O'Shea has missed Sunderland's last two games after suffering a calf injury against QPR last month, and the Black Cats have leaked five goals in two games since O'Shea was sidelined.

"John has been fantastic for us recently, reaching the kind of high standards that he produced for so long during his years with Manchester United," says O'Neill.

"I've often said that it can be difficult for players with a proven pedigree to come into a new club and settle down immediately.

"So much is expected of them straight away. But over the last few weeks he has been coming on brilliantly and it is a shame that he is out at the moment."

Daryl's in the dark

FORMER Ireland striker Daryl Murphy admits he is unsure where his future lies once his loan spell at Ipswich ends.

The Waterford-born forward is on a season-long loan deal from Celtic but that is due to expire when the season finishes.

"Nothing has been said about staying at Ipswich, but obviously I have enjoyed my time here and I am looking forward to finishing the season on a high going into the summer break," said Murphy, who won the last of his seven caps against Norway in 2008.

"As far as I know I am going back to Celtic as I have a year left on my contract there, but it's a great club here and I came back for a second loan spell because of how much I enjoyed it here."

Devine out to lift fans

DERRY CITY boss Declan Devine has apologised to the club's fans for last week's horror show away to Drogheda United.

Derry went down 2-0 away to Drogheda with a very tame display, the second defeat in three games, and Devine admits that the supporters deserve better.

"The fans use their hard-earned money and take time off work to come and support us and I will always be grateful to them for that, but we have to fulfil our side of the bargain and give them something to cheer about," Devine said ahead of Derry's next game, at home to UCD on Friday.