O'Neill can only do so much with the team that is very much the one Steve Bruce put together.
But I'm still of the opinion the Irishman has more fears of LOSING a fixture than actually going full out to WIN one.
But as Brian Clough used to say: "You start by building a solid defence, making your team difficult to beat."
And, as we all don't need reminding, O'Neill takes his managerial knowledge from Old Big Gob.
Martin O'Neill: “We want to get further up the pitch if we can, so if we break up some of the other team’s movements, then we are closer to their goal without having to go 40 or 50 yards.
“It’s always easier said than done, but it’s something I’d like us to be able to do so wingers are not picking the ball up just outside our own penalty area.
“The less distance they have to travel, then the more pace they can generate to go at the full-back.
“If you start to sit back and defend on the edge of your penalty area, you only invite trouble.
“Sometimes you get pegged back in a game because the other team are overwhelmingly better than you and they force you back.
“Other times, you do it because you feel as if there’s safety in numbers there.
“We want to get out of that.”WEST BROM TICKETS
Tickets for the upcoming game at West Bromwich Albion will be placed on general sale later this week.
Sunderland travel to The Hawthorns on Saturday 23rd February (KO 3pm) in the Barclays Premier League.
Season card holder applications have now been allocated and general sale will begin at 9am this Thursday (February 14).
Tickets are priced at £25 for adults, £20 for over-60s and under-21s, £15 for full time students and £10 for under-17s.THE HAWTHORNS
How To Get There By Car And Where To Park
The Hawthorns is located on the A41 (Birmingham-West Bromwich Road). If approaching from outside the area the ground is about half a mile from Junction 1 of the M5. On leaving the M5 take the A41 towards Birmingham, the ground is on your right. Beware though of speed cameras on this stretch of the A41. Street parking or alternatively there are a few private matchday car parks at some local industrial units near the ground, or at Hawthorns station which costs £4.
The Hawthorns has its own railway and metro station which are about a five minute walk from the ground. It can be reached from Birmingham New Street, by first taking a train to Smethwick Galton Bridge and changing there for the Hawthorns. Total journey time is around 20-25 minutes. Alternatively the Hawthorns is also served by direct trains from Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. The metro line runs from Birmingham Snow Hill.SUNDERLAND FIXTURES February 2013 Sat 23 15:00 A West Bromwich Albion March 2013 Sat 02 15:00 H Fulham Sat 09 15:00 A Queens Park Rangers Sun 17 13:30 H Norwich City Sat 30 12:45 H Manchester United April 2013 Sat 06 15:00 A Chelsea Sat 13 13:30 A Newcastle United Sat 20 15:00 H Everton Sat 27 15:00 A Aston Villa May 2013 Sat 04 15:00 H Stoke City Sun 12 15:00 H Southampton Sun 19 16:00 A Tottenham Hotspur