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O'Neill: Bolton fightback gave Sunderland confidence

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill believes the FA Cup third round fightback against Bolton from two goals down to draw 2-2 gave them confidence for the 3-0 home league success against West Ham. O'Neill said: "The difference between our performance against West Ham and Bolton was obviously day and night.

"We started sluggishly against Bolton and I don't think we can afford to do that, but against West Ham we started strongly and the most pleasing aspect for me was that we kept it going. For the most part, we were terrific.

"Our second-half performance against Bolton in the cup helped cement that. It gave us that lift, not only that we were still in the cup, but the players felt that now they could move on."

He added: "Bolton's record in the cup has been very good in recent years and I think they will feel they are capable of winning the game.

"They certainly felt that during the last match. We have got home advantage at this moment and the crowd behind us and we will go into the game with plenty of confidence, but going into the game with confidence is no guarantee of anything.

"It's not something I would like to be making wholesale changes for because we're not in a position to be able to do that and we would like to treat the competition with some respect."

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Dave Williams

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