Martin O’Neill is delaying his decisions on whether to pick four players for Saturday’s Aston Villa clash who are fighting injury.

Seb Larsson, Danny Rose and Craig Gardner all suffered knocks during the Black Cats’ draw with Stoke last weekend, whilst Carlos Cuellar is again having problems with a hamstring strain which ruled him out earlier this season for a fortnight.

O’Neill has indicated that Sunderland are monitoring the situation with Cuellar. However, he says that the injury situations are not serious, but that he cannot definitely say which players can take part.

He said to the Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette: “Carlos got through the Middlesbrough game fine. No problem. But then overnight he felt a tightening in his hamstring, and it’s something that we’ve been looking at since then. None of the injuries are serious – Seb and Craig had dead legs and Danny Rose has a cut to his ankle which is taking time to heal. That’s why we decided to rest them for the cup tie. But there’s every chance they’ll be fine – Crig trained yesterday, and generally they’ll be there or thereabouts. It’s just that we can’t say for definite as things stand right now who will be fit and who won’t be.”

The Sunderland boss has called the League Cup loss “a major disappointment”. He believes they have players who are talented, and that they have to score to solve the team’s problems.

“We’ve got some very talented players in the club, and for one reason or another it just hasn’t been happening for them. But what you need to do is just keep on going because the simple fact is that all the problems we have are nothing that a goal or two wouldn’t solve.”

Martin O’Neill will surely be hoping for an improved performance tomorrow in the clash against his former club Aston Villa

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