O'Neill wants player patience
Black Cats boss calls for new signings to wait for their chance
Last Updated: February 10, 2012 1:15pm
Sotirios Kyrgiakos: The former Liverpool defender has not played for Sunderland since signing last month
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has told his new signings to be patient as they seek regular runs in the first team.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Wayne Bridge both joined the Black Cats on the last day of the January transfer window but are being kept out due to Sunderland's impressive form.
Kyrgiakos has yet to play since making the move, while Bridge was involved in the final eight minutes of the win over Norwich.
Sunderland's form since O'Neill took charge of the club has lifted them to eighth place in the Premier League and they host Arsenal this Saturday.
They have conceded just four goals in nine games with the likes of Phil Bardsley, Michael Turner and John O'Shea impressing at the back.
Both Bridge and Kyrgiakos were not permitted to play in the FA Cup win over Middlesbrough in midweek, but both are available for the clash against the Gunners.
O'Neill said: "They know that it is not automatic that they will be in the side.
"I'm delighted to have them here though and they know they will have to fight to force their way into the team, because we are doing okay at the moment.
"With the games coming thick and fast at the moment, with the FA Cup running alongside the league, we will certainly need them.
"They will come into contention in the coming weeks regardless of what we do or don't do this weekend."