John O’Shea has quashed reports that he plans to retire at the end of the season, and Sunderland fans are gutted.
Reports this week suggested O’Shea would retire when this season ends, as his contract at Sunderland runs out this summer, but the 36 year-old says this isn’t true.
The Irish defender has started 27 Championship games for Sunderland this season, who sit five points adrift of safety going into their clash with Derby County on Friday night.
While O’Shea certainly isn’t solely to blame for all the Black Cats’ problems, he has had a relatively poor season, and his lack of pace has been a real problem at times.
“When I wake up in the morning my body still feels good – believe me, if it didn’t I’d be the first one to admit it and finish up,” O’Shea said.
“There’s plenty of things to look forward to when my playing career ends, from coaching and management to media and punditry work, and spending more time with my family, but my wife is certainly happy I’ve decided to play on for another year!”
O’Shea says his fitness this season has shown he can still perform, but insists he is only focused on keeping Sunderland in the Championship.
“First and foremost, I’m concentrating on helping the team between now and the end of the season – that’s the big thing, that’s the only thing.”
Fans haven’t been particularly impressed by the defender this season, and they are even less impressed by his plans to continue playing.
Some of the best Twitter reactions can be found below…
Please no new contract
— Hannah (@brownh1989) March 29, 2018
should have retired 5 years ago
— James Whale (@whale_james) March 29, 2018
And in all that time we still haven’t replaced him. Embarrassing really.
— Gareth Frank (@gdfrank80) March 30, 2018
If he is going to be playing next year, can it be elsewhere please. League one is low enough, we don’t want to go as far as league two.
— Greg Siddell (@sidders33) March 29, 2018
— Jamie (@Mis3ile) March 29, 2018
He is part of the losing mentality in the squad. We need a bit of fresh leadership
— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) March 29, 2018
Massive massive blow
— danny (@djgill28) March 29, 2018
Stealing a living
— Anthony Hughes (@Anth_Hughes) March 29, 2018