Sunderland talks on hold

Martin O’Neill will not discuss deals with his out-of-contract

players until Sunderland’s Premier League fate this season is


Defenders Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon are in the final

months of their current agreements, and Bramble has consistently

said he would like to stay.

The centre-half is back in favour and has started 10 games in

succession, but with Sunderland in a fight for Premier League

survival his future will remain unclear until the summer.

O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo: “Now, at this minute, the most

important issue is trying to get points on the board.

“I know it’s a cliche, but those things can wait.”

Sunderland have taken just two points from a possible 18 and go

into this weekend’s game against Norwich just six points above the

bottom three.

O’Neill’s side face a daunting run of fixtures after Norwich as

they take on Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton either side of

a derby at Newcastle.