Martin O'Neill 'bans players from Cheltenham Festival'

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill during his side's match with Arsenal on February 9, 2013
© Owen Humphreys / PA Photos
Martin O'Neill reportedly bans his players from attending yesterday's action at the Cheltenham Festival.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has reportedly banned his players from attending the Cheltenham Festival due to their poor form in the Premier League.

A number of players from the first team are thought to have been guests of bookmakers Bet365 for yesterday's opening day of action.

Despite spending £50,000 on travel and accommodation, the players were told by O'Neill that they didn't deserve to be at the races following their 3-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers, according to the Daily Mail.

The Black Cats could be sucked into a relegation fight as they sit six points away from the drop zone.

Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy celebrates scoring against Sunderland on March 9, 2013
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