Martin O'Neill: 'Sunderland players were right to avoid Cheltenham Festival'

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill prior to his side's match with QPR on March 9, 2013
© PA Photos
Martin O'Neill says that his players' decision to avoid attending the Cheltenham Festival was correct due to their poor run of form.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has commended his players' decision to decline the chance to attend the Cheltenham Festival following their recent poor run of form.

The Black Cats were offered the opportunity by sponsors to be guests at the racing event but having taken just one point from the last 18 available in the Premier League, the players decided against attending, something that O'Neill admitted was the right action to take.

"The lads had thought about going down there, and I'm quite sure had we eked out a win against QPR then they probably would have gone," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo.

"But in the grand scheme of things I think the priority is clear and that is the overwhelming need to win some football games, hopefully starting this weekend and to do that, the focus has to be be total."

"The Cheltenham thing was straightforward."

Sunderland are currently 16th in the Premier League.

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