O'Neill to give Bendtner time
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will not make a decision on Nicklas Bendtner's future until the end of the season.
Last Updated: 21/12/11 8:52am
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill will not make a decision on Nicklas Bendtner's future until the end of the season as he wants the striker to prove what he is capable of.
Bendtner joined the Black Cats on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal over the summer and has made it clear that he does not want to return to Emirates Stadium next summer.
The Denmark international has indicated that he could stay at the Stadium of Light beyond the end of the current campaign but he has scored just twice for the club and O'Neill has not yet thought about trying to make the move permanent.
O'Neill is keen to give Bendtner time to prove his worth and hopes he can enjoy a successful second half to the season.
"I have not had this conversation with Nicklas. If he is doing really well and would love to stay it would be fantastic," said the Northern Irishman.
"There are lots of things to happen. He has got to the end of the season and has time to prove he is capable of doing it.
"This is a fantastic challenge for him as he has the European Championships to look forward to.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for him to prove himself in the Premier League week in week out."
If Bendtner can find his best form it would help Sunderland address one of their major problems this season, when they have scored just 18 Premier League goals.
O'Neill said: "Anyone can see we have had a problem in front of goal. We have had a problem in actually getting in front in matches and actually winning games, that's it.
"You can't keep relying on us keeping teams out, because whoever you play there will be chances. If we can get a couple of goals it alleviates problems further back.
"We are where we are in the league and you would say we don't score enough goals, that's pretty plain."