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The Black Cats' winger has spoken of his decision not to wear a poppy during Remembrance Day commemorations and said that he will never wear the flower

Sunderland winger James McClean has stressed that he will never wear the poppy during Remembrance Day commemorations.

The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland international caused widespread consternation in November 2012 when he appeared without a poppy on his shirt during the commemorations in a Premier League game against Everton.

However, despite receiving condemnation, abuse and even death threats, McClean remains steadfast in his conviction, revealing that he has no regrets about his decision not to wear the flower and that he intends to do the same in coming years.

"People have their own opinions," McClean told the Irish Sun. "They have their beliefs and I have mine. I don't regret it, come next year I'm going to do the same thing."

He added: "I got a lot of flak from everybody, but I'll say it again, it doesn't bother me. Every year I'm not going to wear it, so I'll take whatever comes."

Meanwhile, the former Derry City player has conceded that he endured a 'tough start' to the season. Nevertheless, he is hopeful that his form will continue to improve.

"It was a tough start to the season domestically," said McClean. "I wouldn't say it knocks your confidence but you start to think about it."

He added: "Lately I have been playing well and scoring a couple of goals and I am looking to push on from here."

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