Simon Grayson heralds John O'Shea quality

John O'Shea of Sunderland looks on before the Carabao Cup First Round match between Bury and Sunderland at Gigg Lane on August 10, 2017 in Bury, England.

The Sunderland veteran impressed for Simon Grayson's side last time around.

John O'Shea of Sunderland looks on before the Carabao Cup First Round match between Bury and Sunderland at Gigg Lane on August 10, 2017 in Bury, England.

Simon Grayson has told The Northern Echo that Sunderland veteran John O'Shea reaffirmed his status as a big player for the Black Cats last time out.

The former Republic of Ireland centre-back has slipped down the pecking order on Wearside this season but Grayson made a big call by giving him a first start in the 2-2 draw at Preston North End prior to the international break.

In doing so, Grayson risked the wrath of Sunderland fans by omitting such a tried-and-tested figure in Lamine Kone but the gamble paid off as O'Shea impressed.

Diego Costa of Chelsea clashes with John O'Shea and Jordan Pickford of Sunderland during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in...

It would be a surprise not to see the Irishman back in central defence when Queens Park Rangers visit the Stadium of Light tomorrow afternoon.

And the Sunderland boss says that the former Manchester United man still has plenty to offer after reminding people of his qualities at Deepdale.

Sunderland's Irish defender John O'Shea (CL) and Sunderland's English striker Jermain Defoe (2R) react at the end of the English Premier League football match between Sunderland and...

“John’s got experience and leadership qualities – you don’t play for Manchester United, your country and this club for the number of years he has unless you’re a good character, and we just felt we had to have experienced players in that team to help us through," he told The Northern Echo.

"I think John showed what a good player he is and what he can still add to this team.”

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