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Tuesday 21 August 2018

McClean sets sights on FA Cup glory

EXCITING Irish international James McClean is eyeing FA Cup glory in his stunning breakthrough year at Sunderland.

The 22-year-old winger celebrated signing a new contract on Friday by scoring one and playing a part in the other two of the Black Cats' goals in a comprehensive 3-1 defeat of QPR just 24 hours later.

His display erased the memories of a rare poor display in the 2-0 defeat at Blackburn last Tuesday evening, and the Derry native is now preparing for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final replay against Everton at the Stadium of Light.

However, McClean insisted there had been no thoughts of the cup tie and the possibility of a Wembley semi-final against Liverpool ahead of kick-off.

"We can't look beyond the next game - and the gaffer wouldn't let us either," he said.

"It's important that we just focus on each game. We know how much the game (tomorrow) means to the club.

Result

"We haven't forgotten that, and hopefully we can get a result."

Manager Martin O'Neill made something of a concession for the Everton game when he rested weary winger Sebastian Larsson and left out the unwell Phil Bardsley, but both will be available tomorrow, along with skipper Lee Cattermole, who will return from a four-match ban.

However, O'Neill will be without key defender John O'Shea, who suffered a calf strain on his return from a hamstring problem and was substituted with just 27 minutes played.

McClean said: "It was a setback on Tuesday (against Blackburn) and it was important that we bounced back from that and put things right.

"Hopefully now that can give us a bit of confidence going into Tuesday night and we can push on even further.

"I managed to get a bit of luck with the goal, not once, but twice. I'll take those all season long.

"It's nice to get on the scoresheet and, in a way, celebrate getting the new deal."

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