Jones must 'focus', says Bruce

Quinn's out-of-form Wearsiders chase away win and call on striker to hit form

The Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has called on Kenwyne Jones to put speculation of a move to Liverpool behind him and concentrate on reproducing the form which made him an in-demand striker.

Bruce yesterday conceded the Trinidad and Tobago international had been unsettled by talk of a loan switch to Liverpool, culminating in a poor display in last Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup loss at Portsmouth as the Black Cats saw their woeful run extended to one win in 10 games in all competitions.

News of the prospect of Jones moving to Anfield emerged last week, with Bruce labelling the approach "disrespectful" before Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez downplayed talk of a switch yesterday.

Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn spoke to Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow over the weekend and Bruce said: "The situation, I believe, is led by agents, which I find unhealthy. We hope the whole thing has been put to bed."

Jones, who signed a four-and-a-half-year deal 12 months ago, has netted just one goal in Sunderland's last 11 matches. Ahead of tomorrow night's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton, Bruce added: "It certainly has unsettled him. His performance on Saturday reiterated that – and that's my fear.

"With all the speculation and nonsense that is surrounding him, he has had his head turned by a ludicrous notion that we are going to let him out on loan."

The out-of-form Wearsiders will be chasing a first away win since the opening day of the Premier League season at Goodison Park, with Bruce calling on Jones to rediscover his goal-scoring touch.

"There's no doubt the boy has got wonderful talent," added the Black Cats boss. "He has to do it regularly. Maybe over the last few weeks with all the nonsense that's been written about him, his focus has not been on playing on a Saturday, it's been elsewhere.

"We want to see Kenwyne play the way we know he can. He's got to be 100 per cent, otherwise you get found out."

Bruce has also called for an improvement in defence, but his options continue to be limited by injury and suspension and he has used 13 different back-four combinations in 20 games.

Matthew Kilgallon could come in for his debut tomorrow night and George McCartney, Nyron Nosworthy and John Mensah could return, but Anton Ferdinand (ankle) remains out and Phil Bardsley (hamstring) and Michael Turner (knee) are fresh injury victims.

Kilgallon, who signed from Sheffield United last week and was ineligible against Portsmouth, trained with the squad for the first time yesterday and is likely to feature against Everton.

"It looks as though we will throw him in at the deep end," added Bruce.

With only one win – the FA Cup third-round defeat of non-League Barrow – since the 21 November victory over Arsenal, Bruce is desperate for a reversal of fortunes: "We need to get a result to turn us around. I'm convinced we can still get in the top 10."

Lee Cattermole will add bite to the midfield and provide a lift for the whole squad, said Bruce. The 21-year-old, who followed Bruce from Wigan to the Stadium of Light last summer, has made two appearances since injuring his knee against Liverpool in October.

"He's the sort of player we need at this time," said Bruce. "I was asked at the time – when he got injured against Liverpool – how badly we'll miss him. I think it's been evident. We'll be better for him being back in the squad."

Meanwhile, Bruce described as a "tragedy" the shooting of transfer target Salvador Cabanas. The Paraguay international, who plays for Mexican side Club America, has been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light, with Bruce monitoring the forward for three years.

Bruce had already given up hope of bringing Cabanas to Wearside this month before he was shot in the head and left in a critical condition in Mexico City yesterday.

"He's a fantastic football player and what's happened to him is an absolute tragedy," added Bruce.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Life and Style
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn