Football in Brief: Campbell comes up against mentor; Kean tunes into Samba's beat

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The Independent Football

DJ Campbell has thanked Steve Bruce for giving him an opportunity in the Premier League. Bruce signed Campbell for Birmingham in 2006 following the forward's impressive displays for Brentford and non-league Yeading.

"Steve saw something and I'm thankful," the Blackpool striker said ahead of today's trip to Bruce's Sunderland. "It was a massive jump but I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm forever in debt with Brucey for giving me the chance."

Charlie Adam belatedly serves a one-match suspension for the visitors, who have had three of their last four games postponed due to the weather. Lee Cattermole returns from a ban for Sunderland, who also welcome back Danny Welbeck, Kevin Richardson and Titus Bramble.

Kean tunes into Samba's beat

Steve Kean is determined to keep Christopher Samba at Blackburn, despite stripping the defender of the Ewood Park captaincy. The 26-year-old Congolese is unhappy at the club's sacking of Sam Allardyce.

"When I told Chris the plans for the transfer window he was very positive," the Rovers manager said. "Hopefully he can look at it in a different light now and hopefully he will stay."

Samba is expected to be over his ankle injury and fit to face West Brom today, while El-Hadji Diouf may also return to the starting line-up. Midfielder Chris Brunt is suspended for the Baggies, with Jerome Thomas a potential replacement.