The Black Cats beat Everton 2-0 last Saturday, and they built their victory on the strength of their backline.
Sunderland were required to do a lot of defending in the match, but they stood up to Everton's attacking threat and secured a much-needed clean sheet as a result.
Crucial to that shut-out were the performances of Brown and Coates and, even though they are in direct competition for a place in the team with O'Shea, the experienced defender has had no problem praising the duo.
“It is down to the manager because Seb and Wes did fantastically at Everton," he said. "It’s not a case of just walking straight back in to the team.
“It is down to the manager. Hopefully I will be ready and available."
O'Shea missed out on the game against Everton with a rib injury, but he has been training individually this week and could be fit to face Leicester City.
Normally, the Republic of Ireland international is a mainstay for Sunderland, but Dick Advocaat certainly faces a selection dilemma now.
Coates has generally been unreliable throughout the campaign, but it would be harsh to drop him after such an impressive display against Everton and it will be important that Advocaat picks the right centre-back pairing at the weekend if the Black Cats are to maintain momentum and edge another step closer to Premier League safety.