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Oct 1, 2012

McFadden in talks over Black Cats deal

Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Sunderland have opened talks with forward James McFadden over a short-term deal.

• Sunderland consider McFadden

McFadden, 29, was released by Everton at the end of last season and has recently been on trial with the Black Cats.

The Scot was in attendance at Saturday's 1-0 win over Wigan at the Stadium of Light, and O'Neill has said an agreement could be in the offing.

"We'll see how it goes, but he has done well and we'll talk," the manager added.

The Black Cats boss went on to describe his side's win over the Latics - their first victory in 13 games - as "vital".

"It was tight," O'Neill said. "Wigan came and played their part and we have to thank Simon Mignolet for making two very good saves for us in the first half before [Steven] Fletcher came up with the goods again in the second.

"I'm happy to admit that the sending off of their player definitely helped us, but it didn't become easy for us.

"It was edgy towards the end, especially when it became scrappier in the last 20 minutes, but the win was vital for us and it keeps us going."

With O'Neill keen to praise the contribution of match-winner Fletcher, the frontman spoke of his delight at the way his career on Wearside has begun but said he would keep his targets for the season a secret.

"I kind of keep it to myself," he said. "The first thing is to do better than last year, and if I can keep improving that will keep me happy.

"I just go out and play the game the best way I can and I do not like putting that kind of pressure on myself. You need goals, and I have scored them early doors.

"I am delighted the way it has started for me here. When I came here, I knew I would get chances with the players we have, and the delivery the boys are putting in has been fantastic."

Meanwhile, winger Adam Johnson has said injury has affected both of his Premier League outings for the Black Cats this season.

Johnson said: "I injured myself in the warm-up at Swansea a little bit and carried that niggle on to England duty. I haven't really been right since, to be honest. Saturday was the best I've felt so far.

"It's good to get the injury behind me, because I've never been one to have injuries. It's just that this one happened right after I signed.

"I didn't really feel that sharp on Saturday, but the team did a job and the gaffer wanted to put me in. I lasted 80 minutes or so, which I'm reasonably happy with. I felt good fitness-wise. I'm just a bit off the pace still, but that will come."

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