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McFadden decision due before end of the week
SUNDERLAND boss Martin O'Neill will not make a decision on James McFadden's future until the end of this week.
McFadden, who is a free agent following his release from Everton at the end of last season, spent last week training with the Black Cats.
He could offer some valuable cover in a withdrawn attacking role, something that could be especially useful if Fraizer Campbell's foot injury turns out to be serious, but with a Capital One Cup game against MK Dons tomorrow to prepare for, O'Neill is in no rush to hold talks with the Scotland international.
“He's trained for a week and he's done fine,” said the Black Cats manager. “I know him from the past.
“Even though he's trained with Motherwell in the summer, we'll have to see. We'll probably make a decision by the end of the week.”
Sunderland were without Adam Johnson as they drew with West Ham at the weekend, and after struggling in training towards the end of last week, the £10m winger is unlikely to figure at Stadium MK tomorrow.
Similarly, Seb Larsson will not be involved in the League Cup game after a tight hamstring forced his early withdrawal at Upton Park.
The Black Cats were still leading when Larsson left the field, but Kevin Nolan claims West Ham's last-gasp equaliser was the minimum his side deserved.
Nolan drilled a low shot past Simon Mignolet in the third minute of stoppage time to cancel out Steven Fletcher's first-half strike and maintain the Hammers' unbeaten home record.
The veteran midfielder has been the scourge of Sunderland before as he scored a hat-trick for Newcastle United as they humiliated their Tyne-Wear rivals in a 5-1 derby win in October 2010.
His latest intervention was not quite as painful, but it nevertheless robbed the Wearsiders of their first win of the season, an achievement Nolan feels would not have been deserved.
He said: “I was standing with Joey O'Brien in the corner waiting for Campbell to walk off (in the 90th minute) and we were saying to each other: 'How can we be losing this game, with the chances we've had?'
“So to get that chance at the end and see it hit the back of the net was very pleasing for me. And yes, it did make it a bit sweeter. It shows the character of the team – we never give up.
“We dominated so much. They never really threatened apart from their goal, so it would have been a crime if they'd gone away with any more than a point. But we stuck at it and got our just rewards in the end.”