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Published: 00:28 | 15/5/16

Allardyce backs O'Shea for management

Ireland defender has not started for Sunderland since February

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce says John O'Shea has all the attributes to become a top manager.

The 35-year-old has not started for the Black Cats since the 1-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park on 27 February, but Allardyce says he has been impressed by his club captain's response to losing his place to January transfer window signing Lamine Kone.

The 61-year-old believes that the 110-times capped Ireland international will thrive in management when he eventually calls time on his playing career.

"John is going to make a fantastic coach or manager," Allardyce said.

"He’s a dedicated professional and he’s been very good in terms of the frustration he’s seen and shown.

"At the time, he was a bit unfortunate to lose his place but obviously, when I look at the partnership that Younes {Kaboul] and Lamine [Kone] have put together, I’m sure John understands and goes, ‘I can probably understand why the manager is not picking me’."

Allardyce says he intends to blood some of the club's Under-21 players against Watford at Vicarage Road, after the Black Cats confirmed their Premier League status with a 3-0 victory over Everton in midweek.

Sunderland's U-21 side finished second in the Premier League U-21 league, and Allardyce wants to assess whether goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, midfielder George Honeyman, full-back Tommy Robson and winger Rees Greenwood can cut it at senior level.

"My idea is to play some of our younger players because the 21s have had a great year," he said.

"Some of them need to play in the team on Sunday to see if they can cope at this level, when there's no pressure on in terms of points needed.

"That's not to say we're going there to lie down. I expect these lads to be able to compete at this level and show us there may be a place for them in our squad in the future.

"We need to find more young stars through the academy if we possibly can and the only way I can find out is if I try them in the team, that would be my way forward, to let the lads go out and express themselves.

"That would give me an indication if they are capable of coming in next season."

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