O'Neill delighted seeing Sunderland kid McClean 'taking people on'

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is delighted seeing James McClean playing with confidence.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is delighted seeing James McClean playing with confidence.

His manager knows there will come a time when, as a young and inexperienced player, he will suffer a natural dip in form, but he has been thrilled with his contribution to date.

O'Neill said: "It's given him encouragement to go and take players on and play his natural game, and he is thriving on it.

"He has been exceptional for us. He has got into the team, he has held his place on merit and is growing in confidence and it's great to see, it really is. What he has done, the level he has been playing at and the consistency he has been showing has been truly amazing. I have been pleasantly surprised by it, it hasn't dropped.

"But of course there will be a dip, there will be a dip in his form, there will be a dip in the team's form. We will lose a game, we will lose two matches and we will not know where the next point is coming from.

"All of that there is around the corner and it's how we react eventually to that again."

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