Reveillere ready for Sunderland full-back battle

Sunderland's Anthony Reveillere.
Sunderland's Anthony Reveillere.

ANTHONY Reveillere is glad to be returning to the fold with Sunderland’s full-back ranks at full strength.

Reveillere could be involved for today’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Fulham after a month on the sidelines since injuring his Achilles in the warm-up prior to the Tyne-Wear derby.

The former France international was signed on a short-term deal back in October when fellow right-back Billy Jones was facing a sustained spell on the sidelines, before Gus Poyet’s defensive headache increased when left-back Patrick van Aanholt dislocated his shoulder on Reveillere’s debut.

But on his return to fitness, Reveillere faces the situation of having to oust both Jones and van Aanholt from the starting line-up, with the duo both now recovered from their injuries and deployed as wing-backs in last weekend’s Premier League defeat at Spurs.

With Santiago Vergini operating at right-back for the majority of this season too, there is suddenly some competition for a place in Sunderland’s defence.

Reveillere said: “I know there’s competition now, but that’s football.

“With other defenders coming back, the manager has got some choices and that’s no problem.

“It’s much better than when a number of us full-backs were injured.

“It’s important to get everyone back to 100 per cent, because the team still has a lot of games to play, in league and cup.

“And then it’s down to the manager to use us all in the most effective way.

“I’d love everyone to be available on the pitch at the same time, rather than on the treatment table.

“It’s important that everyone is fit.”

Reveillere has impressed in his seven appearances for the Black Cats, particularly considering the 35-year-old had been without a club since May after being released by Serie A outfit Napoli.

The former Lyon man has played all-but 35 minutes of his Sunderland career as a left-back too, to cover for the injured van Aanholt.

While Reveillere had operated there previously, he remains a right-back by trade and is looking forwards to challenging for that spot.

“Yes, it’s my position,” said Reveillere.

“I played right-back at Crystal Palace for 35 minutes, but after Pat unfortunately got injured, I had to go to the left.

“I then carried on at left-back because there were a lot of injuries to the defence.

“I know that I can play on the right or on the left if I’m asked by the manager.

“But, at the same time, I’ve always said that I prefer to play on the right.

“I feel like I can contribute more there in terms of both attacking and defending.

“I can play with my left foot, but I’m stronger on my right.”