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O'Neill warns off suitors for Sunderland's Gardner

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill feels midfielder Craig Gardner has overcome his homesickness and is now a valued member of the Black Cats squad. The 25-year-old has taken time to settle into life at the Stadium of Light following his £5million summer switch from Birmingham.

"I want Craig to stay at this football club." O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.

"I don't think he is unhappy, but I do think he has felt a little homesick.

"But the crowd have given him a great reception in the last two games, and that was great for him. It will have given him a big boost.

"And, like most players, if you are playing games, then it helps enormously.

"Perhaps it didn't happen for him here straight away and maybe homesickness had something to do with it, but he is starting to play well now."

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Dave Williams

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