Steve Bruce is hopeful that a solid pre-season will see Andy Reid return to the kind of form that saw him shine for Sunderland in the first half of last season.
“To be fair to Andy, he’s only played three games since Christmas, so it’s a big pre-season for him,” said the Sunderland boss.
Despite constant pleas from Bruce himself for the past two years, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has continued to leave him out of the squad, and the Sunderland manager is not upbeat about Reid’s prospects of a return from the international wilderness.
“Looking from the outside, I don’t think it’s going to happen do you?” Bruce said to the assembled media. “I don’t think so too.”
Bruce went on to say that he’s made no secret of the fact that his squad is too big, and will be looking to move some players on.
“I would envisage a bit of movement there,” he admitted.
On the issue of Republic of Ireland international David Meyler’s serious injury, Bruce said it was unlikely the player would return this year.
“I can’t see it this year,” he said. “I would think probably another six months.”
The Sunderland manager also hinted that Republic of Ireland striker Daryl Murphy may be among those leaving the Stadium of Light this year.
Murphy, who performed poorly against Munster in Sunderland’s recent friendly at Thomond Park, has been linked with Celtic, but Bruce said he has not received any contact from the Scottish club.
“There has been rumours of Celtic,” he said. “Well, they haven’t come on my door just yet, but I have heard the rumours.”