O'Neill challenges Sessegnon
Martin O'Neill has been firing up Stephane Sessegnon to help him regain his form for Sunderland.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 22/09/12 1:49pm
Martin O'Neill has been firing up Stephane Sessegnon in training in a bid to help him regain his form for Sunderland.
The Benin international has failed to score this season and is struggling to make an impact following a below-par pre-season for the tricky forward.
O'Neill has since taken it upon himself to tap into the 28-year-old's temper to relight the impressive form that set him apart for the Black Cats last season.
"On Tuesday we did some training and I was refereeing the game. I really irritated him (Sessegnon) because I didn't give him one foul even though he was clearly fouled four times. I really got his temper up," he told the Daily Express.
"He hasn't had a great pre-season, with one or two issues, but over time he'll return to top form again.
"He was frustrated with himself last weekend against Liverpool, but he'll be fine soon enough."
O'Neill is also looking for an improvement from young winger James McClean who will have to learn to adapt his game after being marked out of the encounter with Liverpool.
However, O'Neill is pleased the Irishman is finding it difficult because it shows that the opposition are having to man-mark the danger man.
"He should take great confidence from the fact that top quality players and clubs like Liverpool are closing him down," said the Irishman.
"That happened from the first minute - Martin Kelly came in and closed him right down. James should take that as a compliment.
"Now what does he do about it? He has to start thinking about it a bit more. It's an adjustment he may need to make and he's capable of doing that.
"He's strong enough and determined enough but might just have to add a little bit more to his game. Whereas beforehand he could get away with not that great control, now it has to be spot on."