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O'Donovan eager for Hartlepool run

IRELAND B cap Roy O'Donovan says he's ready to deliver for League One side Hartlepool after his escape from English North East rivals Sunderland.

The ex-Cork City man has joined the Monkey Hangers -- who have three ex-Cork players on the books -- until the end of the season after the Black Cats allowed him to leave, and he says it's a relief to get playing again after he made his debut in Tuesday's win over Carlisle United.

"I just want to play. The last two years haven't been ideal," said O'Donovan, who made 14 Premier League appearances in his first season at the Stadium of Light, though he hasn't played for the Black Cats since 2008.

"I just think it was the sharp end of football at Sunderland. If you don't hit the ground running in the Premier League, you don't get a second chance.

"I had a fantastic first year. All I was short of was a couple of goals. Steve Bruce has come in and brought his own players in and I've been unfortunate that I've been left to rot.

"I've had six months where I haven't been playing, which has been difficult, especially when you're hoping to get a chance with injuries and suspensions.

"You have to come out, drop down a level and go and play football again."