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The former Cork City midfielder says that he must be playing regularly and playing well for the Black Cats in order to strengthen his place in the Republic of Ireland squad

Sunderland midfielder David Meyler has said that he is 'delighted' to have made his senior Republic of Ireland debut after 'a long two years' that saw him blighted by knee injuries.

The 23-year-old Corkonian started in the centre of midfield for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly victory over Oman at Craven Cottage on Tuesday and said that it was 'a great honour'.

"I was delighted to start my first game but the most important thing for me was that the lads did well and got the result," Meyler told Goal.com.

He continued: "It has obviously been a long two years for me so I was delighted to get out there and make my debut. My family were down here as well so that was nice.

"It's a great honour and privilege to play for your country."

The former Cork City midfielder broke on to the scene at Sunderland in 2009 when he made his first professional appearance for the club and after overcoming his difficulty with injuries, he is now setting his sights on breaking into the Black Cats team in order to cement his place in the Ireland squad.

"I just have to keep going now and hope that [Martin O'Neill] will be impressed," added Meyler. "What I need to do now is get in to that team.

"I have to be playing every week and playing well. I hope I can push on now and play well so I can impress the [Giovanni Trapattoni]," concluded the midfielder.

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