Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley has hinted new manager Martin O’Neill is keen to make his mark on the Black Cats squad by making some purchases during the January transfer window.
O’Neill has helped guide Sunderland away from the relegation battle towards safety since his arrival in December, helping them pick up 13 points out of a possible 18 before the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea on Saturday.
Sunderland now sit in 12th place, seven points clear of the drop, but O’Neill will meet club chairman Ellis Short this week to discuss potential transfer target to help move them even further up the league table.
However Bardsley feels that Sunderland’s recent performances have shown the Ulsterman that sweeping changes in January aren’t necessary.
“If the manager thinks we need to strengthen then I'm sure he will," said Bardsley.
"I'm sure with the performances we have shown of late then he will have taken a long hard look at us all, and I'm sure he will be happy.
"I'm not sure who he might want to go for but if he wants to bring someone in it will be to improve the team, so it's all good." He added.
Frank Lampard’s opportunistic strike at Stamford Bridge consigned Sunderland to just their second defeat in eight games under O’Neill, and the former Aston Villa boss left scratching his head after his side passed up numerous opportunities to claim at least a point.
Bardsley insisted Sunderland deserved to get something from the game, admitting it was ‘disappointed’ to see some so many chances not lead to a goal.
We had six or seven chances there and we deserved to get something out of the game," said Bardsley.
"Some of those were clear- cut ones and it's disappointing not to come away with something.
"The gaffer said to us after the game that we should feel hard done by.
"He said that the Chelsea bench had been celebrating at the final whistle as if they had won the league. I just felt we should have got something."
Bardsley was at the centre of the main talking point to emerge from the game, with Fernando Torres booked for diving after referee Phil Dowd adjudged the Spaniard had gone down to easily under the former Manchester United defender’s tackle.
“When Torres was coming at me I stuck out my leg and he has flashed past me, clipped me, and he has gone down far too easily," Bardsley commented.
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