MICHAEL Turner is pleased John O’Shea will play through the pain today as their partnership continues to blossom.
The duo formed an unbroken partnership at the heart of Sunderland’s defence in February. A broken bone in O’Shea’s hand threatened it for today’s game against Newcastle United, but the Irishman has declared himself fit.
Just as well, because Turner is enjoying the growing understanding, perfectly displayed in their excellent derby performances.
Turner said of the versatile O’Shea: “He has slotted into the heart of the defence in the last two months and done really well.
“He has been good and it has been good for me. To have had a run like we have together has been good, you develop more of an understanding.
“That is the same for all of the defenders. The more you play together they better you become together. Hopefully that can continue. “
Jordan Henderson will make his first appearance at the Stadium of Light for anyone other than Sunderland but the Liverpool midfielder insists it will be business as usual.
The 21-year-old said: “It will be the same preparations. “I cannot change anything. It will be more about trying to make sure we win with Liverpool.”
IRELAND manager Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday opened the door for James McClean to gatecrash his European Championship squad.
The Italian now insists he has yet to make up his mind whether to take the 22-year-old Sunderland player to the finals.
“We follow him because he’s young, his mentality is very strong,” said Trapattoni.