Monday 24 June 2019

O'Shea looks to Ireland duty for cheer

The Allsvenska game between IFK Gothenburg and AIK was called off
The Allsvenska game between IFK Gothenburg and AIK was called off
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

John O'Shea is looking to the end-of-season internationals to lift his summer mood after a dreadful season for Sunderland.

The worst side in the Premier League will finish up their campaign away to champions Chelsea on Sunday and O'Shea has no complaints about their position in the table.

His future plans remain up in the air, but he is looking forward to linking up with Martin O'Neill's Ireland squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier with Austria on June 11.

The injury that has ruled out Ciaran Clark puts O'Shea in contention for involvement. He fell behind Clark and Shane Duffy in the pecking order last autumn, yet when injury ruled that pair out of the March draw with Austria, O'Shea returned to strike up a partnership with Richard Keogh.

"It's a chance to maintain our position at the top of the group," says O'Shea. "It (a win) would dent Austria's hopes but also Wales' that are chasing us as well.

"We have big home games to come and if we can get a win against Austria at home, it will be a ... well I won't say nice summer after what's happened (at Sunderland) but on the international front obviously it would be a bit more positive."

O'Shea is out of contract at Wearside and has indicated that he would like to stay at the club next year.

He has spent the entirety of his career on the books of a Premier League club so a drop to the Championship would be a change of scenery.

Settled But he is settled in the area and has performed reasonably well for David Moyes' charges this term. Moyes has suggested that he still has decisions to make on his out of contract players.

O'Shea has not attempted to sugarcoat Sunderland's struggles. "It has been disappointing, you can't get away from the fact," asserts the 36-year-old. "The league table is not going to lie after Sunday and it's not nice viewing."

Elsewhere, Brighton manager Chris Hughton has confirmed that Richie Towell will be sent out on loan to a Championship club next season.

Towell has struggled to get a look-in with Brighton since joining from Dundalk in the summer of 2015. Injuries were an initial problem, but he was out of favour for the second half of this season as Brighton booked their Premier League ticket.

Hughton blocked Towell from going out on loan in January, yet he will not stand in his way this summer.

"We have been really delighted with Richie but we are very keen for him to get out on loan to the Championship next season," he says.

Dubliner Kevin Dawson has followed on from the lead of his brother Stephen by signing for a new English club this week. The younger Dawson (26) has left Yeovil to be reunited with his former manager Gary Johnson at another League Two side Cheltenham Town. He rejected a Yeovil contract to sign a two-year deal.

Earlier this week, Stephen (32) accepted a three-year contract with League One side Bury after leaving Scunthorpe United.

Irish Independent

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