Hull City's David Meyler set to return to Sunderland but Steve Bruce retains hope
HULL City boss Steve Bruce remains hopeful David Meyler will not be called back by parent club Sunderland before Friday's trip to Derby.
Meyler scored for the second game running as the Tigers ran out 2-0 winners over Huddersfield Town on Saturday to continue his impressive loan spell at the KC Stadium.
City have claimed 10 points in the four games where the 23-year-old has started, but his continued influence was thrown into doubt over the weekend when Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill claimed it "looked like being a certainty" that Meyler would be recalled.
Bruce spoke with O'Neill on Friday and while he is appreciative of Sunderland's injury problems, he believes Meyler could enjoy a greater benefit from remaining with the Tigers.
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Asked if Meyler would return to the North East this week, Bruce said: "I sincerely hope not.
"The problem when you've got a loan player is what happens at his parent club. Sunderland have obviously got two or three injuries and I suppose we'll see what happens.
"Martin knows Meyler needs to play because he has been out for two years. Some of the things he is trying here, he wouldn't get away with in the Premier League.
"You can see he is rusty at times and gets himself in a tangle. But he is a great thorn in the opposition's side because of his will to win. He has been out for two years and done everything he can to be a good player, he deserves to be a footballer."
As with all emergency loans, parent clubs are able to able to activate a recall clause after the first 28 days at 24 hours notice.
That option will be open to Sunderland this week but Bruce would have no shortage of options, with Tom Cairney, Seyi Olofinjana and Paul McKenna waiting in the wings.