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Bendtner's mask woes can't hinder cup vision

Nicklas Bendtner has admitted he cannot see properly when he wears the mask to protect the facial injury he suffered against Swansea in January.

The on-loan Arsenal striker has scored three times since he returned, wearing the facial protection he will use again tonight against Everton in Sunderland's FA Cup quarter-final replay, but admitted it affects his vision.

"I can't see with it on," he said. "I give the ball away because I can't see sometimes. It's not good because sometimes if you see a run, your eye disappears in the mask. It's difficult.

"I think it was the first header on target (when he scored against Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday) that I have had wearing the mask. It didn't hurt, in fact it was alright.

"It's nice now that I'm scoring a few goals. To try to help the team win is what you really want to do. If my goals help, then great. I'm happy and everyone else is happy.

"We know that Everton play a lot of long balls and they have a lot of people who are good in the air. They can compete. Under David Moyes they are a really tough team to play against. It's not going to be easy but this is the FA Cup and we want to give it our best shot.

"I have got two years left at Arsenal and I don't know what will happen after the summer. I am here at Sunderland right now, we have a good team, a good manager and good staff.

"It would be great if we can keep going until the end of the season and finish on a high." (© Independent News Service)

Sunderland v Everton,

Live, ITV1/Setanta Ireland, 8.0

Irish Independent