KI SUNG-YEUNG is already eyeing a recall for the Wear-Tyne derby after reaping the rewards of a regular starting spot.
On-loan Swansea midfielder Ki has found himself back in the international picture after starting all five of Sunderland’s games since arriving at the Stadium of Light 48 hours before the transfer deadline.
The 24-year-old impressed in his first appearance for South Korea since March in Saturday’s defeat to Brazil and he is expected to keep his place for today’s friendly with Mali.
Ki believes his form has improved since joining the Black Cats after being limited to just three substitutes appearances for Swansea, since falling down the pecking order at the Liberty Stadium.
But new Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet will be forced to replace Ki for his opening game in charge at Swansea on Saturday, with the 24-year-old unable to face his parent club under the terms of his loan.
Ki hopes he has done enough in his performances for Sunderland so far though to justify a return to the starting XI against Newcastle United eight days later.
“I can’t play against Swansea which is disappointing, but I hope the boys can play well,” he told the Echo. “Hopefully I will be back in the team for the Newcastle game.
“I feel much better now after playing a few games. “I think I’ll be stronger when we start again after the international games too.
“I’m pleased to be back in the Korea squad.
“I haven’t been in the squad for a long time, so I’m trying my very best.”
Ki is yet to see Sunderland register a point, let alone a Premier League win, since arriving at the Premier League’s basement boys, with the Black Cats heading to South Wales on a run of five successive top flight defeats.
But he is confident that if Sunderland can maintain the standards they set against Manchester United 10 days ago, Poyet’s side will begin to put points on the board.
“We didn’t need to be disappointed after Manchester United because we played well,” he added. “The points will come for us if we play like that.”