Bendtner is anxious to star in the mask

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The Independent Football

Nicklas Bendtner will bid to kickstart his career today, wearing a mask as if to prove his desire to succeed at Sunderland. Bendtner's loan spell at the Stadium of Light has been stop-start so far, he has scored just three and has missed the last month after breaking his nose.

There has also been a speeding ticket and he still has a criminal-damage charge hanging over him following a night out in Newcastle's Chinatown.

During his absence, as he recovered from the broken nose he suffered against Swansea, Sunderland have breathed new life into their season. However, manager Martin O'Neill believes Bendtner, who has said he will never play for parent club Arsenal again, can still make an impact: "He has been out with a nasty injury, he is fighting back and wants to come back and he is probably coming back quicker than anticipated, so it is good news. He wants to play and be the focal point."