MICHAEL Turner is determined to prove himself to Martin O’Neill, with Matt Kilgallon’s injury opening the door for the fit-again defender.
Turner made his first appearance under the Sunderland boss in Saturday’s defeat at Chelsea after six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury.
While the former Hull City centre-half’s team-mates have had the chance to make a mark on O’Neill, Turner has been forced to bide his time after sustaining a knock on the eve of the ex-Aston Villa manager’s appointment.
But after the rejuvenated Kilgallon succumbed to an ankle injury on the stroke of half-time at Stamford Bridge, replacement Turner impressed in subduing Chelsea hitman Fernando Torres.
Turner looks set to continue alongside John O’Shea for Saturday’s visit of Swansea City, with Wes Brown and Titus Bramble still sidelined and Kilgallon leaving West London on crutches.
“To get injured when a new manager comes in and not be available for selection is tough,” Turner said.
“I haven’t been in the position to see whether he picks me or not.
“But I’ve had to work hard to get myself fit and hopefully, I can keep myself in the team.
“The knee’s fine. It was a new injury I picked up in the game against Fulham when me and Wes crashed into each other.
“I managed to play the week after, but then it kept me out for six weeks, which was so frustrating.
“When I came on at Chelsea, I knew there was only a couple of minutes to go in the first half.
“I just looked to get through those and then get ready properly at half-time.
“Matt’s been bitterly unfortunate with the way he’s got injured. He’s done great since he’s been in the team.”
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