O'Neill speculation not affecting Sunderland, insists Cuellar

The Spanish centre-back has stated that rumours surrounding the future of the Black Cats' manager has had no effect on the squad despite flirting with the relegation zone
Sunderland centre-back Carlos Cuellar has insisted that he and his fellow team-mates are ignoring speculation over manager Martin O'Neill's future.

The Black Cats lie 15th after a disappointing start to their Premier League campaign, with their recent win over fellow relegation strugglers Reading only their third in 16 league games this term.

40/1 Sunderland are 40/1 with Paddy Power to beat Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday
And, with Sunderland sitting just one point above the drop zone, the pressure above O'Neill's head has continued to grow but Cuellar has allayed fears that the boss' uncertain future will affect the team's performances on the pitch.

"To be honest, the talk of the manager had no influence on the dressing room," Cuellar told the Sunderland Echo.

"All the time, from the manager through to the chairman, they've showed their confidence in the team."

Sunderland travel to Old Trafford on Saturday, a team they have not beaten in their previous 18 attempts and haven't scored against in their past five meetings.