Tuesday 10 December 2019

O'Shea eyes long overdue United away win

John O'Shea. Photo: Getty Images
John O'Shea. Photo: Getty Images

John O'Shea will peel himself away from the Ryder Cup coverage to try to help Manchester United record their first Premier League away win, knowing that particular job should have been done already.

The Irishman is a keen golfer, lauded by some as the best player in the United dressing room.

With fellow countryman Padraig Harrington involved, he will be keeping a close eye on Europe's progress at the soggy surrounds of Celtic Manor.

But tomorrow afternoon, the only sporting event O'Shea is interested in will be United's trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland.

And the defender knows the Red Devils should be heading north with at least two away wins under their belts already after the unusual late collapses at Fulham and Everton.

"We should definitely have a couple of away wins on the board right now," he said.

"I can't really explain why it has gone wrong. Teams have not been tearing us apart. It has literally been the drop of a ball that has gone against us.

"It is only a matter of time before we start keeping clean sheets away from home and there is no better time to start than tomorrow.

"Not that we are under any illusions about how difficult the task is going to be.

"We have had very tough games at Sunderland down the years and it seems Steve Bruce in particular enjoys the battles against his old manager."

O'Shea is set for a recall after missing Wednesday's Champions League win over Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium.

As generally happens when United have to play twice in a week, Sir Alex Ferguson will make a significant number of changes as his team try to cope with the physical demands of following up a European away-day with a road trip in the Premier League.

"It isn't easy but we have done it enough down the years to know how to handle it," he said.

"You have to respond to it positively, otherwise you don't get the right result and it can end up costing you in the league.

"We must have the right attitude and the right physical approach.

"If we don't, Sunderland will come out on top."

The plan is to collect three points, then spend Sunday flicking between the golf and Chelsea's blockbuster encounter with Arsenal.

"I am interested in the Ryder Cup," he said.

"A lot of the guys in the dressing room like to play, although it is obviously difficult when the European games start up.

"Most of us are of similar standard, which is not very good.

"But we are all looking forward to Europe winning this weekend."

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