Meyler: FA Cup semi-final is nice but we're concentrating on Premier League

Hull City have a date with Sheffield United in the FA Cup to look forward to but the Ireland midfielder is determined to secure Premier League safety first
By Andrew Horgan at the KC Stadium

This will rank as one of the more eventful seasons in the career of David Meyler.

The 24-year-old has fought his way to becoming a first team regular with Hull City in the Premier League and was the scorer of one of the goals which helped his side seal their upcoming FA Cup semi-final date with Sheffield United at Wembley.

7/2 Hull are 7/2 with Paddy Power to win the FA Cup this season
It was he who was also on the receiving end of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew's now infamous headbutt. The confident Corkman is, however, taking it all in his stride.

And, rather than dwell on that FA Cup run, Meyler insists that the Hull aim remains to secure their Premier League status for next season. "The FA Cup is a magnificent trophy to be involved in as it has a long history and it’s fantastic to be in the semi-final," he said.

"But the league is still our bread and butter and we have to make sure our business is done there before we start focussing on anything else."

It was that same level-headedness that ensured that this season’s biggest controversy didn’t escalate further than it did. Meyler received plaudits for his reaction to Alan Pardew's inexplicable attack which subsequently afforded him the opportunity to make light of it - re-enacting the incident with a corner flag after scoring in the FA Cup quarter final against Sunderland.

"That was only a bit of banter," he said. "The incident happened and I was actually more disappointed that we had been beaten 4-1 at home against Newcastle when we probably should have taken something from the game."

The former Cork City midfielder has now got his eye on an extended run in the Republic of Ireland squad under the new management duo of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. It was Keane who initially brought Meyler to the Premier League during his time in charge with Sunderland but since then he has only made five appearances for the national team.

“It’s every boy's dream to play for your country," he said. "That’s the level I have to get to next and hopefully I will."

Meyler is now joined by four fellow Ireland internationals at Hull in the shape of Paul McShane, Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn and Shane Long and he says they are all equally determined to be a part of the exciting new era under O’Neil and Keane.

“In the changing room there’s five of us now and five of us have all played for Ireland regularly so hopefully we will qualify (for the 2016 European Championship)," he said. "It will be a tough group but there’s no easy way with the Irish anyway!"