Niall Quinn has pledged to help Clive Clarke get his career back on track, following the defender's recent heart scare.

Clarke is keen to continue playing football again, but only if the doctors give him the green light to. Niall Quinn is in regular contact with Clarke, and his wife Sally, and the Sunderland chairman has said that the club will give their full support whenever he is ready to return.

Quinn said: "I've been getting regular updates about Clive and I have spoken several times to his wife Sally. He is on much better form now, but the doctors are still getting to the bottom of everything. It's a time where he needs rest and recuperation. I know he is champing at the bit and getting more positive by the day as he sees the route back to the training ground.

"We're doing all we can and taking all the advice we can, in order to get him there. The club will be supporting him 100 per cent. He's our player and everything we can do for him, we will do. We are not looking it as a case of 'yes or no' (as to whether he continues playing), our attitude is 'what do we have to do to make it yes?'

"We've had a few things stop us in our tracks just recently what with first what happened to Clive and then of course the sad news about Ian Porterfield this week. But when you have testing times like these, the key thing is to drive on. Sunderland Football Club is like a family and we will move forward together."