STEVE BRUCE plans to get David Meyler back into the Sunderland side after he managed to prove his fitness.
The former Cork City man has played just once for the first team since January due to a knee injury but he has built up his fitness in reserve games and Bruce says that Meyler is now ready for the first team again.
“There’s no need for the kid glove treatment with David any more – the gloves are off now,” said Bruce.
“He played his second full 90 minutes for the reserves against Everton on Tuesday night and came through fine. He is back in the squad and available.
“He’s had a terrible time with really bad injuries – injuries that could have finished his career.
“But he has worked incredibly hard to get fit. He could play a big part for us this season because he gives us a steel in central midfield and also a bit of extra height.”
Doyle eager to travel to Tallinn
KEVIN DOYLE has told Giovanni Trapattoni that he wants a seat on the Ireland team flight to Estonia for the first leg of the Euro 2012 play-off next month, even though he’s suspended for the away leg in Tallinn.
Doyle said: “I’m suspended but I’ll still be travelling with the squad,” he said. “Hopefully I won’t be needed (for the home game) because if we win away from home, then Giovanni won’t be changing the team. I want to be sitting in the stand with the chance of going to the European Championships next summer.”
KEVIN KILBANE could be back in the frame for Ireland’s play-off against Estonia after making a return to the Derby County team. The 34-year-old had been out of action for six weeks with a thigh injury but he came off the bench to play in Derby’s 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday and Giovanni Trapattoni may now include him in his squad.