Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Next Week's Crucial for Us, Says Cats Ace; THE INTERVIEW: John O'Shea John O'Shea and Seb Larsson Joined Pre-Season Late after Being Involved in Euro 2016, but Are Set to Play in Sunderland's Final Friendly in France.The Veteran Defender Talks to James Hunter

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Next Week's Crucial for Us, Says Cats Ace; THE INTERVIEW: John O'Shea John O'Shea and Seb Larsson Joined Pre-Season Late after Being Involved in Euro 2016, but Are Set to Play in Sunderland's Final Friendly in France.The Veteran Defender Talks to James Hunter

Article excerpt

JOHN O'Shea and Seb Larsson are set to return to action this evening against Montpellier in the final friendly of Sunderland's pre-season trip to France.

O'Shea and Larsson were granted an extended summer break due to their involvement in Euro 2016, but linked up with the squad in time to fly out to the club's training base in Evian-les-Bains last weekend.

They did not figure in the friendlies against Stade Nyonnais on Monday, or Dijon on Wednesday, but boss David Moyes intends to give them some game time against French top flight side Montpellier in a match to be played in Aix-les-Bain, around an hour-and-a-half south of Evian.

And despite missing the first three weeks of Sunderland's pre-season, including the club's training camp in Austria, Republic of Ireland skipper O'Shea says he and Sweden midfielder Larsson are fit after working with their national sides for most of the summer.

"We're still in pretty good shape because we've been at the Euros," said the 35-year-old.

"Myself and Seb have been doing extra work after the main sessions, and some individual sessions, to bring us up to speed.

"You never know, we might get a few minutes against Montpellier if all goes well.

"Then next week is crucial for all of us, especially with the new manager on board, to get an understanding of his ideas before the game against Borussia Dortmund next Friday.

"Ultimately, though, physically and mentally we will be ready for the start of the season."

After spending 12 years at Manchester United under one manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes is the seventh manager O'Shea has worked under in his five years at Sunderland.

But he believes the former Everton, Man U and Real Sociedad boss can build on the foundations left by Sam Allardyce and take the club forward.

He said: "David Moyes' record in the Premier League speaks for itself. …

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