Turner out to seize chance
Sunderland's Michael Turner is determined to hold onto his spot in Martin O'Neill's side after finally getting his chance to impress.
Last Updated: 17/01/12 12:11pm
Sunderland defender Michael Turner is determined to hold onto his spot in Martin O'Neill's side after finally getting his chance to impress against Chelsea.
The centre-half made his first appearance under O'Neill during Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge following six weeks out with a knee injury.
Turner came off the bench after Matt Kilgallon picked up an ankle problem on the stroke of half-time and helped subdue Blues frontman Fernando Torres after the break.
The stopper could be called on by O'Neill once again if Kilgallon's injury keeps him out at home to Swansea on Saturday, with Wes Brown and Titus Bramble still sidelined.
"To get injured when a new manager comes in and not be available for selection is tough," Turner told the Shields Gazette.
"I haven't been in the position to see whether he picks me or not.
"But I've had to work hard to get myself fit, and hopefully I can keep myself in the team."
He added: "The knee's fine. It was a new injury I picked up in the game against Fulham when me and Wes crashed into each other.
"I managed to play the week after, but then it kept me out for six weeks which was so frustrating.
"When I came on at Chelsea, I knew there was only a couple of minutes to go in the first half. I just looked to get through those and then get ready properly at half-time.
"Matt's been bitterly unfortunate with the way he's got injured. He's done great since he's been in the team."
Saturday's defeat halted a five-game unbeaten run under O'Neill but Turner is confident they can get back on track against the Swans in the first of three consecutive home fixtures.
"I think we can take confidence from Chelsea and previous weeks into these three home games," added the 28-year-old.
"The performances of late have been superb, and we've been picking up results as well. Hopefully we can come out with more positive results.
"Since the new manager has come in, he's given the place a massive lift and we're definitely looking to push on now."