Martin O'Neill vows to hold on to Sunderland stars
Thursday 19 April 2012
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is determined to hang on to his key players as he plans a bright future on Wearside.
O'Neill is yet to sit down with owner and chairman Ellis Short to discuss his summer rebuilding plans, and expects to do so as the current season draws to a close.
However, while he knows in which areas he would like to strengthen, he wants to retain the key men who have driven the recovery he has prompted since his arrival at the Stadium of Light in December.
O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo: "I really don't want to go down the road of telling people that this is set in stone or that is set in stone and then find myself being put on the spot a few months later when this happens or that happens.
"The modern game moves so quickly that just about anything can happen.
"But I'm happy to say the owner agrees with me that we want to keep our very best players at the club because we are looking to build something here and move forward.
"You don't tend to do that if you are selling your best players.
"We have a squad in a process of development. We have a lot of work to do, and I think it is clear that we need to strengthen.
"We remain very much a club that is looking to go forward."
The retention of star man Stephane Sessegnon in particular will be a priority for the Black Cats after recent speculation linking him with former club Paris St Germain and Arsenal.
Sessegnon has been touted as a potential target amid rumours that he has not settled in the north-east, although O'Neill insisted only last week that the Benin international could not be happier.
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on today but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Morgan Schneiderlin to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United; Raheem Sterling to Manchester City
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Nick Kyrgios praises fans smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces in support of Wimbledon star
Alexis Sanchez 'will miss start of Arsenal season' after Chile go all the way in Copa America
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture