Defensive competition pleases Sunderland veteran John O’Shea

John O Shea Sunderland

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Sunderland veteran John O’Shea believes the competition for places in defence at the Stadium of Light ahead of next season will only help manager Dick Advocaat.

The Black Cats struggled in defence at times last season and the Dutch tactician has been keen to shore things up at the back in the summer transfer window.

With Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates both making the move up to the north east, Advocaat now has a number of options for his centre-back roles.

Former Manchester United defender O’Shea knows the competition for places is going to be tough as they push for a top-half finish in the 2015-16 season.

The Republic of Ireland international told the Echo: “There’s a lot of competition in defence now and that’s what we’re looking for throughout the whole team.

“That’s how you get success. I’ve had that practically all my career and that’s how teams get better.

“You need people constantly fighting for places and fighting to stay in that XI. Hopefully that’s how we get better results.”

Sunderland’s defence will get its first test in the Premier League on August 8 when they make the trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City.

The Black Cats are 3.50 to win, 3.20 to draw and it is 2.15 for a Foxes victory.

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