Sunderland manager Jack Ross has revealed that versatile midfielder Luke O’Nien will continue at right-back, report the Sunderland Chronicle.
There had been calls for the summer signing to return to midfield in the absence of George Honeyman but Ross has confirmed this will not be the case.
“The fans have voted Luke player of the month for two months in a row playing at right-back,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“It doesn’t make sense when you scratch below the surface.
“At Barnsley, I thought he did well in the main defensively against one of their best players because Mamadou Thiam is a handful to play against.”
Jack Ross’s side currently sit in third place, four points outside the top two but with a game in hand, although Barnsley and Luton show no signs of slowing their own promotion pushes.
Last week saw the Black Cats held to a 0-0 draw with the Tykes in a huge, but ultimately dull, midweek affair at Oakwell.
This weekend sees them face Walsall at the Stadium of Light in a match that they will be confident of winning.
I think this is smart from Ross.
At the end of the day, he knows him better than any watching fans and if he thinks he is better suited at right-back for now then that is where he should play.
O’Nien has won the fan’s player of the month award twice from right-back, too.