Monday 11 December 2017

Bruce tips 'fierce competitor' Meyler to star for Ireland

Steve Bruce, Hull City manager
Steve Bruce, Hull City manager

Garry Doyle

HULL CITY manager Steve Bruce believes midfielder David Meyler has the determination to force his way into Martin O'Neill's Ireland plans.

Bruce has re-evaluated his opinion of the Corkman, whom he kept on the bench for eight of the Tigers' opening 12 games this season before reinstating him for the last three games.

"David has enormous character," said Bruce. "He has had his injury problems over the years and there are not many who would have recovered from the knee problem he had.

"It was a horrific injury sustained three years ago which he tweaked again 15 months later. It takes a fierce competitor who is strong mentally enough to turn around from that.

"He wasn't in the side at the start of the season but his performances for the last three games have made him the first name on my team-sheet. I'd say he has a fine chance with the Republic of Ireland team, too."

Meyler said: "With the setbacks I have had, I have to dig deep and work hard and that is what I have done. I don't take my career for granted."

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is hoping to persuade Shay Given to stay at the club for an additional month after his first-choice keeper, Jason Steele, picked up an ankle injury in training on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Gus Poyet has revealed Kieren Westwood's injury problems are close to an end.

"He is very close to being fit again and should be back next Saturday," said the Uruguayan.

"It will be great to have him because he is a character and a real competitor."

Irish Independent

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