Mick eyes hero's impact from Arca

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Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has acknowledged that the fitness of Julio Arca, and his other star names, could prove crucial if The Black Cats are to survive in The Premiership this season.

The Wearside outfit have claimed just five points from 15 games so far and are badly in need of a result when they travel to Tottenham on Saturday.

McCarthy's men have been widely written off as favourites for relegation, and the former Republic of Ireland boss is aware that he needs his star men fit if he is to fight against the tide and drag Sunderland clear of the bottom three.

Arca in particular has been a crucial absence after suffering with a toe injury since October, and McCarthy insisted, with tongue firmly in cheek, that he needs his wide man to produce a superhuman effort worthy of the world's greatest players when he eventually returns.

"He will have to be a combination of Pele, Maradona and Johan Cruyff, won't he, and probably Franz Beckenbauer thrown in, if we are going to rely on him to turn everything around," McCarthy joked.

"I don't think that's going to be the case, but it will certainly make a huge difference to us."

McCarthy has identified a lack of experience as being a major problem for his strugglers this season, and he hammered home this point by emphasising how vital Arca's quality could be when he returns to action.

"I don't want to be detrimental to Andy Welsh or anybody else that's played on that left-hand side, but Julio is a Premiership player," McCarthy continued.

"Julio is one of those players I talk about that would have been in week in, week out.

"With the squad we have, we need those players fit and able to play. They do make a difference, absolutely."