Meyler cleared to play after Januzaj incident
Published 08/05/2014 | 02:30
DAVID Meyler is free to play in the FA Cup final after being cleared of wrongdoing in his clash with Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj on Tuesday night.
The Cork midfielder was left sweating on his involvement in Saturday week's Wembley showdown with Arsenal after he was accused of stamping on the Belgian in the dying stages of his side's defeat.
Manchester United interim boss Ryan Giggs was unhappy afterwards, saying that Januzaj was in pain and deserved better protection from officials although he hadn't actually seen the incident himself.
Meyler's fate lay in the hands of referee Craig Pawson, who reported to the FA that he saw the incident and decided not to take action.
That was the news that Hull wanted to hear. If Pawson said that he was unsighted, then the football authorities had the option to open their own investigation involving a review panel that could have led to a retrospective punishment and a three-match ban.
But the 24-year-old can now get on with preparing for the biggest game of his career to date. He is the most likely Irish participant in the showpiece, with Hull's sizeable contingent cut down for a variety of reasons.
Shane Long is cup-tied having represented West Brom earlier in the competition, while Robbie Brady's assertion that he could recover from a groin issue to stake a claim has ultimately proved to be far too optimistic.
Paul McShane has an outside chance and came through 60 minutes of a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday night. He could audition in Sunday's Premier League encounter with Everton, but Steve Bruce has warned that he would be reluctant to take too many risks on the big day.
Goalkeeper Allan McGregor and centre-half James Chester – whose minor hamstring tear has put McShane on standby – are other concerns.
"James has got 10 days and we'll give him every chance," said Bruce. "Paul came through another hour of football and we'll take a look at him to see if he's available for the weekend against Everton.
"Allan is on course and he trained on Tuesday. They'll all want to play, but I have to make the right decisions. It would be foolish of me to risk three or four, but we'll see. But I'm not really a gambler. To play football at this level you have to be 100pc."
Dubliner Stephen Quinn was selected at Old Trafford, yet he has work to do to force his way into Bruce's starting XI.