DAVID Meyler wants to prove Martin O’Neill that he deserves to part of the manager’s plans at Sunderland.
The 23-year-old midfielder has been a peripheral figure since the Northern Irishman took over from Steve Bruce in December.
But Meyler was given a rare start in yesterday’s opening pre-season defeat and hopes to give himself the platform to impress the boss.
He told the Echo: “When we came back into pre-season, me and the manager sat down and had a talk about things.
“He said he didn’t really know yet what I was capable of and he wanted to find out in pre-season.
“I told him that suited me fine, because all I wanted to do was prove myself to him. Anyone who knows me knows that I just want to play for Sunderland and be successful with them.
“That’s all I’m thinking about. So to be given the chance to prove myself is great and I just want to play as much as possible now.”
Meyler was influential in Sunderland’s midfield against Seongnam. Though he gave the ball away as much as any of his team-mates in the 1-0 defeat, he also won it back plenty of times and set up Kieran Richardson for a good first-half chance.
His tackling was strong, as was his workrate and his application when, late in the game, he was asked to play in an unaccustomed right-back role.
But he was as flat as any of his team-mates that Sunderland could not get back into the game and go on to win it.
He said: “Their goal was not a good one for us to concede because it came from a throw-in and we practice defending throw-ins all the time.
“It was careless from us. I feel for the fans who made it out here to support us because we would have loved to have given them a win but we did give our all on the night and now we have to look to try to get a win in our second game.
“There’s a lot of players on this trip who are desperate to impress, me among them, so that will ensure we give our very best on Sunday.”