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Sunderland boss O'Neill says McClean can handle international stage

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill can see no problem with James McClean making the step up into the Republic of Ireland squad.

The 22-year-old Derry-born winger, who was signed by O'Neill's predecessor Steve Bruce, has been a massive hit since being thrust into the limelight by O'Neill shortly before Christmas.

O'Neill said: "I don't think he would have a problem with it. I can understand Trapattoni being very loyal to a group of players that he's worked with for the last two years and who have seen him through.

"But I think that they would have to have a serious look at James and the form he is showing. My own view is that he would be a genuine asset to them, but I do stress it is my own view.

"I am not telling Trapattoni how to conduct his affairs, which he is doing pretty well without my help."

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