O'Neill has cited that both his forwards against Liverpool - Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon - were not at their best because of a lack of a pre-season. Because of this he feels that was the main reason behind Sunderland's ability to kill off Liverpool whilst they were leading.
"I appreciate that the 'lack of pre-season' excuse is wearing pretty thin," said the Sunderland boss. "We're so many weeks into the season that even I'd expect to be match-fit by now. "But there's no getting away from the fact that it's there and it's something we are working on. "Steven Fletcher hasn't had a pre-season, but he's much fitter than he was against Swansea a couple of weeks ago and he almost finished the game against Liverpool.
"Stephane Sessegnon? It's just not happening for him at the moment, then there was Danny Rose, who I think will be a decent player. When he gets his fitness, he will impress."