Bendtner to be unmasked

Sunderland striker to shed facial gear

Nicklas Bendtner: Ready to play without his mask

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Sunderland striker Nicklas Bendtner admits he cannot wait to get rid of his protective mask.

The Danish front-man, on loan from Arsenal, has been forced to wear the protective gear in order for him to play after he fractured his cheekbone against Swansea in January.

Bendtner admits that the mask hampers him although he has scored three goals in the six games when he has worn it for the Black Cats.

"I'll be wearing the mask for the last time on Tuesday night before I take if off for Saturday's game," said the 24-year-old.

"To be honest, I can't see with it on. I give the ball away because I can't see sometimes, and it's not good because on other occasions, if you see a run, your eye then disappears in the mask and you can't see where you are running.

"It's difficult, and I think it was the first header on target I have had wearing the mask when I scored against QPR on Saturday."


Bendtner's final game with the mask will be against Everton in the FA Cup quarter-final replay on Tuesday, a game which he is confident that Sunderland can win.

"We go into the game believing we can win it," he said.

"We've been thorough in our approach and have prepared for extra-time and penalties. We're a game away from Wembley and we know we have a chance to end the season on a real high.

"We know there's a massive expectation from our fans, but we're desperate to progress in the cup, and we've got to fancy our chances so we'll be giving it our best shot."