Bent hands Bruce 'hell of a selection headache'

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce faces an enviable selection problem for the visit of Everton tonight with striker Darren Bent in contention to return after three weeks out with a hamstring injury.

The stand-in strike force of Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck have scored five goals in three games in Bent's absence, and the England international could struggle to regain his place at the Stadium of Light tonight.

"The more good players we have got available, terrific," Bruce said. "He will give me a hell of a selection headache, but those are the kind of decisions you enjoy making."

Bent has scored eight goals in 10 games for the Black Cats this season and, prior to the surprise 3-0 win at Chelsea eight days ago, the 26-year-old was one of only two Sunderland players to have found the net this season, along with Gyan.

"Darren has been fantastic for 18 months. It gives me an awful headache. When he was our only recognised striker, the owner [Ellis Short] dug deep and we managed to bring in Asamoah. When Darren was injured, Gyan took up the mantle just when we needed him. I am delighted with the kid."

Last month's 5-1 derby thrashing at Newcastle remains Sunderland's only league defeat in 11 matches and Bruce is confident of extending that run. "We have been playing well. We have to maintain those standards. We have to improve and make sure the performance is good."

Everton themselves have suffered striking problems this campaign, their forwards scoring only two league goals – one each from Ayegbeni Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford. Their manager, David Moyes, remains interested in the possibility of re-signing the LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan on loan. "We would be [interested]," Moyes confirmed. "We have said it every time I get asked." The Toffees are without Marouane Fellaini, who serves the second game of a three-match suspension.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'