Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has praised Craig Gardner for the way he has adapted to the role of emergency full-back.

O'Neill turned to the 25-year-old as defensive injuries, and particularly the ankle problem which has sidelined first-choice right-back Phil Bardsley since pre-season, bit hard into his resources, and his response has been impressive.

O'Neill said: "He has done very, very well indeed, Craig. He is essentially a midfield player."

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