Under-fire Advocaat recalls O'Shea for struggling Sunderland
Ireland defender John O'Shea has been recalled by struggling Sunderland for today's home game against Swansea City, manager Dick Advocaat revealed yesterday.
The Dutchman said that centre-half Younes Kaboul, who has had an uncomfortable start since his recent transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, has a knee injury.
"John O'Shea will play," Advocaat said. "He has leadership and quality. He is a real captain."
The former Manchester United defender had missed out in the opening defeats against Leicester and Norwich, when Kaboul was partnered with Sebastian Coates, a summer signing from Liverpool.
"We had to look forward and those guys are younger and quicker," Advocaat said in justification of his choices. "John was not in his best shape and he knows that as well."
The performances against two teams tipped for relegation dismayed Sunderland supporters.
Advocaat, who had originally planned to leave his temporary job at the end of last season, knows his team must improve significantly.
"The spirit is something we have discussed," he said. "This team has to go to the edge fighting-wise and spirit-wise, and we didn't do that.
"They understand totally that we have to fight from the first to the last minute to get a result, but also to get the fans behind us and we will do that against Swansea, there is no doubt about that."