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Blackpool v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Second Round

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Should Aiden O’Brien start in the league on Saturday after his League Cup heroics?

Having scored a hattrick, Aiden O’Brien has put his name in the frame to start on Saturday. Would you play him from the beginning? If so, who would you drop, and what role would you give him?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says...

I am delighted that his hard-working performances have been rewarded with a treble on Tuesday. Harsh though it may be, I would not start him on Saturday.

I would prefer Elliot Embleton in the #10 role-playing off Ross Stewart, with Lynden Gooch and Aiden McGeady (if he is fit) either side of him.

I would definitely have AOB on the bench and anticipate some game time for him.

It is worth considering whilst Aiden grabbed the headlines, Nathan Broadhead and Jack Diamond both had good games also, and arguably deserve consideration for a place in Saturday's squad too.

LJ certainly will have a healthy dilemma come Saturday.

Malc Dugdale says...

I’m chuffed that Aiden O’Brien has finally had a game where he has shone. As the gaffer mentioned in his post-match comments, he did a lot for Charlie Wyke last season that created space and chances, and for others to finally play in a way that gave him the chance to show his abilities is great for the lad.

Does that mean he should start on Saturday? I don't think so, but it may get him a slot on the bench which he might have struggled to gain without that performance.

The positive thing for the team rather than for the one individual is we are now playing in a way that various players can all thrive. If Aiden doesn’t get on the pitch this weekend, he will get chances off the back of that cup hattrick in other games where his style will suit.

He’s done himself a lot of favours and asked the gaffer a few questions, and options are always a great thing. So, well done Aiden - you may well make a real difference, if not this weekend then certainly this season.

Bristol Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Michael Dunne says...

It was a welcome surprise to see Aiden O’Brien hitting a hattrick on Tuesday.

He’s a strange one. From my personal perspective, he’s not an out-and-out striker like Ross Stewart is, nor is he a proper winger like Lynden Gooch or Aiden McGeady. That being said, he has something to offer, and showed this at times last season.

The Republic of Ireland international is physical, and can be a bit of a nuisance. In addition, as shown against Blackpool, he can score goals. There is an element of horses for courses with this and with Sunderland taking on Wycombe on Saturday, there could be an opportunity for O’Brien to start.

Wycombe will be physical, they will attempt to bully and be in our faces. This sort of game may suit O’Brien, and with our starting 11 being a generally young one, his experience may be needed on Saturday.

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


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