O'Neill leaves it late to make decision on Brown fitness


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The Independent Football

The Sunderland manager, Martin O'Neill, will make a late decision on Wes Brown ahead of tonight's Premier League trip to Wigan with his injury problems showing little sign of abating.

The defender limped off with a groin problem 26 minutes into Sunday's 1-0 victory over leaders Manchester City and is a major doubt, as are the full-back Phil Bardsley (thigh) and the centre-half Titus Bramble (Achilles/calf).

The goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, played Sunday's match with a face mask protecting the nose and eye-socket he fractured in October, with Keiren Westwood having pulled out because of the virus which also sidelined Kieran Richardson.

Wigan will be without their captain, Gary Caldwell, as he serves a one-match suspension. He is likely to be replaced by Steve Gohouri. Conor Sammon will hope for a recall but Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) will have to wait a little longer.