MARTIN O'NEILL believes having Steven Fletcher back on the goal trail will be vital in Sunderland's bid to avoid relegation trouble.

The £12million Scot scored his seventh of the season in a crucial 3-0 victory over Reading on Tuesday, and O'Neill said: "Steven was magnificent. He's a fine player and he is so important for us.

"I wonder where we'd be without his goals at this point. He's done exceptionally well and I'm delighted with him."