Bent hands Bruce 'hell of a selection headache'
Monday 22 November 2010
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.
Latest in Sport
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Spanish club resume £28m pursuit after fending Manchester United off Sergio Ramos
Karim Benzema to Arsenal: Transfer news live - Angel Di Maria to leave Manchester United, Emmanuel Adebayor to Aston Villa
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015 Third Test Day One report: England skittle Australia for 136, James Anderson takes six wickets, Ian Bell hits half-century
Nicolas Otamendi to Manchester United: Sergio Ramos is only defender of interest to Louis van Gaal
- 1 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 'Killer robots' with AI must be banned, urge Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and thousands of others in open letter
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall