Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kyle's Sights on Bees Clash

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kyle's Sights on Bees Clash

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Kevin Kyle is hoping to make a dramatic FA Cup return for Sunderland against Brentford this weekend as he embarks on the next stage of his rehabilitation from a career-threatening hip injury.

Kyle was on target in Sunderland Reserves' 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers last night, playing 83 minutes as he edges closer to regaining full match fitness after 18 frustrating months on the sidelines.

But while the Scotland international has pencilled in the Black Cats' FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Brentford as the ideal stage upon which to make an emotional return to the first team, he also has one eye on securing his long-term future at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland, who invested considerable time and money in bringing the striker back from the injury which once looked like ending his career, have the option of giving Kyle a year's extension to his contract and the 24-year-old is desperate to ensure they take it.

"My contract runs out in May and I know I need to prove that I'm worth a new one," said a player whose last competitive game for the club came in a 1-0 defeat at Reading in August 2004. "If I can't get one here ( and I desperately want to ( I need to get one elsewhere.

"When I was injured, Sunderland gave themselves the option of immediately extending my contract for another year in May. They didn't want to invest time and money in getting me fit and then see me walk off to another club this summer.

"That's totally understandable, but it's not guaranteed. They could decide they don't want to do that and then I'd be left without a club.

"That puts pressure on me but it's not really any different to anyone else. I want to get another year at Sunderland and then push on from there. If that goes to plan, we can think about extending it even further."

Until Kyle manages a sustained run without any more injury problems, there will naturally be a few lingering doubts about his long-term fitness. …

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