Craig Gardner has hailed the attitude of Sunderland's Connor Wickham and David Meyler as being 'spot-on' despite limited opportunities.
Wickham has made just five Premier League starts since his big money move from Ipswich last summer, while Meyler has started just once in the league this term.
But the pair could be given an opportunity to impress with the Black Cats hosting fourth-placed Spurs on Saturday before heading to Everton on Bank Holiday Monday.
Gardner believes the fringe players deserve their chance if they are handed an opportunity by Martin O'Neill.
"They probably deserve a chance and the attitude of the likes of Meyler and Connor has been spot-on. They come in every day and work hard," he told the Shields Gazette.
"It's not easy to play two games in a week, never mind two games in three days.
"But having said that, the whole Premiership's doing it, so it's a level playing field."
He believes it will be tough against Spurs on Saturday.
"Tottenham are a class team. We went there early on in the season and lost 1-0," he said.
"But they won't be looking forward to coming to our place. No one does at the moment.
"We won't take anything away from them, though. They're a top- class team and they showed that with the way they beat Swansea last Sunday.
"We've just got to work hard like we did against Man City and try to get those three points."