Meyler on fitness mission
Midfielder David Meyler has warned his Sunderland team-mates he will be gunning for them when he returns to the club in January.
The 23-year-old made his debut as a substitute for Hull in Saturday's 2-1 npower Championship defeat at Cardiff after completing a loan move to the KC Stadium until January 1. However, he is already targeting an assault on Martin O'Neill's team when he heads back to the Stadium of Light in the New Year.
Meyler said: "That's exactly why I've gone to Hull. I'm probably 85-90 per cent fit. The next 10 per cent will probably be gained from 9,10, 11 games for Hull and getting as many 90 minutes under my belt as I can, and I'll be looking forward to kicking on then when I get back to Sunderland."
Meyler was still working his way back to full match fitness after a second cruciate ligament injury when O'Neill arrived on Wearside in December last year, and he made six senior appearances during the second half of the campaign.
However, while he has been involved in the squad for much of the intervening period, he has had to remain patient.
He said: "The manager's been fantastic with me since day one, he's been very supportive. When he came in, he wanted me to go out and express myself. I got to play a lot, but then the lads hit such good form.
"It's very hard to break into a winning team and obviously then we went down into a little stage where we didn't play so well. We had two or three games and he didn't change too much and the lads turned it around. They were fantastic for the rest of the season."
Meyler, who is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, headed away from the Stadium of Light with the Black Cats mired in a difficult run of form. Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Everton means they have won just one of their last 18 Barclays Premier League fixtures.
However, Meyler is convinced there is not a great deal wrong, and that things will turn. He said: "We have been playing really well at times, but we just haven't seen games out.
"Against West Ham, we conceded in the 93rd minute. Even the other day against Everton, the lads did terrifically well for 75 minutes, and it was two moments of laziness and you get caught. Players like [Marouane] Fellaini and [Nikica] Jelavic will punish you, and that's what happened to Sunderland the other day."