Martin O'Neill has praised John O'Shea's emergence as the defensive rock Sunderland always hoped he would be.

The versatile 30-year-old Republic of Ireland defender arrived on Wearside last summer in what was a regarded a major coup but injuries and an uncertain start to the season by the club as a whole initially hampered the Irishman as he attempted to get to grips with life at the Stadium of Light.

However, in recent months, he has developed into one of the cornerstones of Sunderland's resurgence, and O'Neill said: "It has taken him a bit of time. We have got some really fine players here, but Manchester United have been winning for years and years and years, so it's good to see."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: