herald

Wednesday 16 January 2019

McShane pushing for his first start under Sbragia

SUNDERLAND boss Ricky Sbragia admits he faced a defensive dilemma for the Black Cats' clash with Arsenal at the weekend with Republic of Ireland international Paul McShane hoping for his first league start for Sunderland since last April.

First-choice full-back Phil Bardsley misses the trip to the Emirates Stadium due to suspension so Sbragia, who took over after Roy Keane's departure in December, has to choose between McShane and Israeli defender Tan Ben Haim.

"It is one of those dilemmas I'm going to have to think about this week," said Sbragia.

"Paul is back fit and Tal had a game for Israel the other week which was important for his fitness.

"Paul is fully fit now. I spoke to him before the Republic of Ireland's game against Georgia to see how he was and he'd just had a training session. He said he was fine, I think he was a bit disappointed he wasn't involved with their match."

McShane has not started a Premier League game for Sunderland since last April as he spent the first half of this season on loan to Hull City.

FORMER Celtic and Bohemians star Paul Byrne is expected to take over as manager of English non-league side Hemel Hempsted Town.

Currently mid-table in the British Gas Business League Premier Division, the club have just dismissed manager Steve Bateman and Byrne (36) has been heavily linked with the post.

Midfielder Byrne starred for Celtic, Brighton and Southend before moving back to Ireland in 1998, lining out for Glenavon, Bohemians, St Pats, Shelbourne, Dundalk and Kilkenny City.

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