DAVID Meyler wants a first-team recall before the end of the season – but says he will not be badgering Martin O’Neill about it.
Instead, the Irish midfielder wants to win selection on merit by impressing the Sunderland manager with his efforts in training.
“I’m not one for knocking on the manager’s door,” he said this week. “I would never do that.
“I believe you do your talking on the field – on the training ground every morning.
“You work as hard as you can and you let the manager know you’re there.
“There’s no point in going up to a manager and saying ‘I should be playing, or I should be doing this or that’. You need to do it on the pitch.
“That’s where you do your talking.
“There’s no point in shouting the odds in Press interviews or anything like that. Someone told me a long time ago that the best place to do your talking is on the pitch. That’s the bottom line.”
Meyler, who has suffered two serious cruciate ligament injuries in the previous two seasons, has not started a game in the current campaign, his nine appearances this season all coming from the substitute’s bench.
Although he has been fit in 2012, he has been used sparingly – his last appearance being in the 3-1 win over QPR on March 24.
However, he is trying to look positively on that fact.
“I haven’t played as much as I would have like to in the last few months,” he admitted. “But I’ve been trying to see it as a blessing in disguise, with me being out for so long after my serious knee injury.
“It means I’m getting as much training as I can. Day by day, I’m working on the strength of my knee, but I’d love to be involved and play in the last few games, a bit of time at least.
“After that, I’d have a bit of rest over the summer and look to push on at the start of the new season.”
“A couple of years ago I was told I might never play again and then I did nine months of rehab, came back and did it again.
“That’s fine, though – I’m back now and I’m getting fitter and stronger and working hard.
“There’s no pressure on me to play a whole stack of games just yet. I don’t want to overdo it. I’d rather wait a little longer than face another 18 months out.
“I’ve had great support from the medical staff at Sunderland and I want to make the most of that.”
Despite the mature attitude, though, Meyler would love to be out and representing the club before the season ends.
“It’s an important time potentially right now for those of us who haven’t played that much,” he said.
“At the moment I’m coming in every day, working as hard as I can, looking forward to Saturday and aiming to play as many games as I can for Sunderland.
“In the last few games I’d love to play some time and the manager knows that.
“I just want to play for the club.”