SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce says he won't rush Ireland U21 star David Meyler back into action after a long lay-off from injury.
Cork lad Meyler hasn't played for the Black Cats since January, when he suffered a recurrence of the knee injury which had forced him out earlier that season.
Meyler was a surprise inclusion on the Sunderland bench for last week's Premier League game with Birmingham City, even though he hadn't even played a reserve game, but Bruce does not want to take any risks with the ex-Cork City man.
"It was to give David a lift psychologically. He's trained for a couple of weeks now but I was never realistically going to use him at Birmingham," said Bruce.
"I have to be a bit wary of that, with the huge injury he's had and how he suffered a setback in January. But mentally it'll give him something to think about.
"We'd love him fit and were banking on that when he came back in January, because we won two out of three with him in the team.
"He's been a big miss. When we were up against it last year I brought him in and he did fantastically well for us."
CARLISLE United boss Greg Abbott has tipped midfielder James Berrett to become a senior international for Ireland.
Berrett, capped five times at U21 level, has been in superb form for the League One side this season and manager Abbott feels that the midfield man can go all the way with Ireland.
"James has had a terrific season. He has done exceptionally well for us, and without doubt he has been a very good signing. If he keeps improving and playing like he is then he might be able to step up to a higher level. At the moment we would like him to be doing that with us," he said.
"He needs to aim for a full cap now. He has to set his own personal goals and see how far he can go.
"Only time will tell if he can get a full cap as he has a bit to go but if he keeps improving then there's every chance he can go on and get better."
FORMER Bohemians man Conor Powell was on a high today after finally making his debut for League One side Colchester United.
The 23-year-old joined Colchester from Bohs in January but was forced to be patient as he was left on the sidelines for his first four months at the club, before debuting in yesterday's 1-1 draw away to Brentford.
-- AIDAN FITZMAURICE