The Lowdown: O’Nien picks up fifth booking
The Black Cats were beaten 1-0 at home to Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, with the result leaving them in 13th place in the table.
O’Nien started the game at right-back for Sunderland, showcasing his versatility, but he received a yellow card that has ultimately proved costly.
It was the 27-year-old fifth booking of the season so far, meaning a one-match suspension now awaits for him.
The Latest: Out of Birmingham game
Writing on Twitter, Hunter confirmed that O’Nien would now be absent for the trip to Birmingham next Friday night:
“Luke O’Nien fell one game short of avoiding a ban – and will now miss out at Birmingham.”
The Verdict: Blow for Black Cats
O’Nien may not be the world’s most talented footballer but he is an influential figure at the Stadium of Light, already making 16 starts in the Championship this season.
The Englishman has been described as a ‘massive’ player for Sunderland by teammate Bailey Wright, with his effort levels and attitude infectious on those around him.
The hope is that Sunderland will still have enough to see off Birmingham, but O’Nien is the type of player that teams only truly miss when he isn’t playing.