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yorke28The veteran midfielder is back in action after fracturing an eye socket in pre-season and remains confident in his ability to be a Premier performer.
He has gone on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago this week and hopes World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala on Saturday and the USA next Wednesday will put him in better shape to challenge for Sunderland starts.

Yorke, included on the bench for last weekend's 3-0 loss to Manchester City, was injured in the Wearsiders' pre-season loss to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal on July 23 and has played only one reserve game since.

Summer arrivals Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio have further increased midfield competition for Yorke.

He said: "I'm three or four weeks behind the rest of the lads in terms of match fitness, but I was able to stay fairly active when I had the injury.

"I do feel a fully fit Dwight Yorke has a part to play or I wouldn't have signed a new contract.

"I had a long chat with the manager in the summer, he said he felt I could play a part in the Premier League.

"That was good enough for me and that's why I signed the deal.

"I knew he would be bringing a lot of players and competition would be intense, but that is what we all live for. Obviously I feel I can compete against these guys. I can bring the experience that we still need."

Yorke's international career seemed over last season when he stepped down from internationals, only to be invited for a "farewell" performance in Trinidad's centenary game with England on June 1.

But he has been called up again for the current qualifiers and insists international duty will not obstruct his club commitments.

The 36-year-old said: "I'm totally in control of the situation.

"I think I need games at the moment and I think going away to play a couple of competitive matches will do me good. The travel aspect isn't great, but I have coped with that in the past and I know how to handle it. I have spoken to the gaffer in the past and nothing has change with my situation with Trinidad & Tobago.

"If it is right for me to go play for them, I will, but if I'm playing a big part in the season here then I can always take a step back."