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The Black Cats defender has hailed the contributions of the Stoke City midfielder ahead of Ireland's clash with Wales, suggesting that the player has been underappreciated

John O'Shea has praised Glenn Whelan as the midfielder prepares to win his 50th cap for Ireland when they take on Wales at Cardiff City Stadium this evening.

The Sunderland defender believes that the 29-year-old midfielder is an "unsung hero" for the national team, suggesting that his contributions are "glossed over", but emphasised how much the Stoke City man was appreciated by his team mates.

The midfielder received his first cap in 2008 and has been a mainstay in midfield under Giovanni Trapattoni, where he has partnered a number of players, including Keith Andrews, James McCarthy and Wes Hoolahan.

"Glenn has been around the squad for a while and he has been doing his stuff for Stoke in the Premier League," O'Shea told the media. "His 50 caps has come around quick and he is one of the unsung heroes who gets glossed over, but the players appreciate him when we go into tough battles in European games."

He continued: "You know exactly what you get with Glenn, he is able to do more than mix it, he can produce brilliant moments passing and shooting.

"He is a valuable member of the squad, hopefully it will go well for him on Wednesday and there are many more caps to come."

John O'Shea will captain the Boys in Green this evening when they face Chris Coleman's Wales. The game kicks off at 19:45 BST.

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