Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has ruled out the departure of Craig Gardner.

O'Neill's fresh selection problems have ended any prospect of homesick midfielder Gardner being allowed to return to the Midlands, with former club Birmingham among his suitors.

The manager said: "No, no, no. We have got enough problems here trying to get a few players in at this minute to help alleviate the situation.

"No, Craig won't be going anywhere now, and in fairness to the lad, he hasn't been making any big showing.

"He knows there has been interest - we have kept him up to date with interest from down in the Midlands and maybe at some stage, we will think about that.

"But now, we really need him and he is doing fine for us."