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Tony Mowbray: 'Luke O'Nien keeps telling me he can be a 15-goal a season striker!'

By Michael Graham,


At least one Sunderland player is not worried about the squad lacking striker options...

Luke O’Nien has told Tony Mowbray he can be a 15 goals per season centre forward if he wants to give him that chance.

Sunderland an FA Cup fourth round replay against Premier league Fulham this week and they will have to contest it without a single available striker.

O’Nien will be back from suspension, though, and he has been used, albeit sparingly, in an striker role before during his Sunderland career.

One suggestion has been to utilise O’Nien in that role again in an emergency basis for the rest of the season, but Mowbray says he isn’t tempted to try it despite the player’s confidence.

"He keeps asking me whether I've looked at his No.9 clips and telling me he'll score 15 a season," Mowbray said with a smile on his face.

"He's not short of confidence. It's not something I'm thinking about, but the way he plays and trains and lives his life, it wouldn't surprise me if he could do a job."

Ross Stewart is unavailable for the rest of the season due to a serious Achilles injury, and Joe Gelhardt is not eligible for the FA Cup as he is cup-tied.

That means Sunderland will have to be creative in their thinking for the game, with Amad Diallo likely to play a more advanced role.

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