David Meyler fired up for return

Sunderland's David Meyler
Sunderland's David Meyler
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DAVID Meyler hopes to make his long-awaited comeback tonight when Sunderland Reserves take on Gateshead’s second string at Eppleton CW (7pm), writes GRAEME ANDERSON.

The combative Irish midfielder (pictured) has been sidelined since damaging knee ligaments in Sunderland’s Premier League win at Aston Villa in January, just a month after making his comeback from the same injury.

Two cruciate ligament injuries to the same knee in the same year is usually fatal to a player’s long-term career, but the 22-year-old is determined to be the exception that proves the rule, starting with this evening’s game as Sunderland start their defence of the Totesport Cup in Hetton.

The Black Cats won the trophy at the start of this season, when last season’s competition was brought to a close with a final victory over Walsall at the Academy of Light.

In their Totesport group this season, Sunderland will also face Scunthorpe United at home (at the Academy of Light) plus Hartlepool United and Hull City away.

With many of the reserves’ games being played behind closed doors at the Academy this season, tonight’s game is one of only two chances to see the second string in action at Eppleton in the remainder of 2011 – the other being the visit of Manchester United’s reserves on Tuesday, December 6.