DAVID Meyler has picked up a suspension and was ruled out of Sunderland’s game against Manchester City today.
Manager Martin O’Neill had planned to recall the Republic of Ireland international immediately from his loan at Hull City after Friday night’s game against Derby County.
But the Republic of Ireland international picked up a booking in the 2-1 win over the Rams which sent the Tigers into an automatic promotion spot.
And that booking was enough to earn him a one-game ban, effectively ruling him out of any involvement in the Black Cats’ clash against the Premier League champions.
It was his fifth booking in eight games for the Championship club and his fourth booking in his last five games.
O’Neill told the Echo: “We were going to recall David for today’s game straight after Friday’s game but we haven’t done so as of this minute.
“Of course he is banned now after picking up his fifth booking. And because of that, we decided to let him stay down at Hull for a few days longer.
“He is enjoying it there and has done very, very well so I don’t see the need to recall him straight away if he’s not going to be involved.
“I had planned to recall him for the three games at this stage and my only worry was that the offices would be shut over the holidays and we would not be physically able to do the paperwork to recall him for the following game.
“But I’m assured the offices are open over the holidays to process things like that, which means he can have an extra few days in Hull before returning to us to be available for the game against Spurs.”
Although not having Meyler to add to the squad for today’s game is a disappointment, having the midfielder available for the Spurs game is a far more pressing concern.
O’Neill said: “The thing to bear in mind for the Spurs game is that we wont’ be able to field Danny Rose against his parent club.
“That means we’ll need someone to fill in at left-back, so David being back for that game does at least boost our cover and increase our options when we have to shuffle things around a bit.”