sport

O'Neill hails 'strong' N'Diaye

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has praised the contribution of recent recruit Alfred N'Diaye, saying: "He's such a strong lad."

The France Under-21 international midfielder signed from Bursaspor on a three-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee and was impressive in the 3-2 win at Wigan.

N'Diaye makes an impact on physical appearance alone but can play too, providing the cross for Steven Fletcher's first goal, the most notable moment of an eye-catching all-round display, even if he did tire in the second period.

"He's a strong lad," said O'Neill, whose side have now moved into a comfortable mid-table slot. "His vitality is there for all to see and when he learns about the game he will be even better.

"He's only 22 but he is such a strong lad. He tired a little bit towards the end but he's only been around the football club for a short period of time and when he gets to know the players he'll be great for us."