Mick McCarthy admits he had a say in Sunderland's deal for former Wolves striker Steven Fletcher.

Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill called his old friend before the deal went through and asked for his opinion on the Scottish striker.

McCarthy told the Sunday Sun: "Martin had left Celtic by the time Steven made the breakthrough up in Scotland with Hibs, so he really did not know him as a person.

"He was also out of football by the time Steven made a name for himself with Burnley and then at Wolves with me, so he wanted to ask me a few questions about the lad in terms of him as a player.

"Martin asked for my opinion and I gave it. I will be honest with you; I waxed lyrically about Fletch.

"All I told Martin was that he was a brilliant professional and a great person.

"The lad was a joy to work with. I have not a bad word to say about him."