Sunderland players given social media lesson after McClean's latest Twitter row
16:31 GMT, 1 March 2013
00:13 GMT, 2 March 2013
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has called on a technology expert to teach his players the pitfalls of Twitter and other social networking sites.
The briefing follows James McClean’s latest Twitter row, which led to the Republic of Ireland winger deleting his account this week.
Last Friday, McClean professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer by the Wolfe Tones. The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group’s members in the 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War.
Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble
One DUP MP called for McClean to be sacked but O’Neill, who has repeatedly warned his players about Twitter, is hoping the midfielder’s decision to stay off the site can help him concentrate on re-establishing himself in the Sunderland team after losing his place following Danny Graham’s arrival.
O’Neill said: ‘We have had someone in to talk to the younger boys about the social media thing and he’s going to have a chat with the senior boys for them to keep an eye on it.
‘He can tell you all the ills and woes and the possibility of what might happen if you were sending out a normal message to your friend, how people can log into these things, and it goes global. It will be a real eye-opener for me because I want to be in the meeting.
Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football
‘It’s just getting back to trying to be a bit more responsible for your own actions. I’d never have believed even five years ago that we’d be having this conversation.’
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will open talks on a new contract, just days after his agent claimed he would have to quit Sunderland to enhance his international career.
Captain Lee Cattermole has had an injection in his knee but still faces a lengthy lay-off.