Alas poor Lorik! Sunderland boss Steve Bruce fears referees will target his new skipper Cana
15 September 2009 02:45
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits new captain Lorik Cana will have to curb his enthusiasm to stay out of trouble with Premier League referees.
The Albania international with the flowing locks picked up his third booking of the season in Saturday's victory over Hull City, falling foul of referee Martin Atkinson for a high challenge. His equally tenacious midfield partner Lee Cattermole was booked for the second time in the 4-1 win.
Although Cana's approach has instantly won over Sunderland supporters, Bruce recognises the £5million summer signing from Marseille will need to cut out the cautions or spend lengthy periods of his first English season on the sidelines.
Bruce said: 'That’s his third yellow card – it is just getting him through the season that will be an issue.
'To say he is trying to do his best is an understatement. You can see why I have made him captain.
'He has obviously got to try to curb it, but he is just full of enthusiasm, trying to do the job. Everybody is telling him how tough England is – well, the Albanian captain is there to stand up.
'He has got a good way about him. We will obviously have to check the yellow cards if we can, but he will be a cult hero here, I am sure of it.'
Striker Darren Bent agrees that Cana has all the makings of a player who will win over supporters on Wearside.
The midfielder raised his fists to home fans after one particularly ferocious tackle on Saturday, coming out the winner in a challenge which is loved in the North East.
Bent added: 'He has been brilliant and is just as hard as Catts. He can play the ball as well and as the fans have seen he can pass and shoot. Everyone here thinks a lot of him and he can definitely become a cult hero.'
Meanwhile Bruce's latest new signing Michael Turner is making his claim for his first Sunderland goal.
The defender's 'goal' against former club was given to his former defensive partner Kamil Zayatte on Saturday but Turner, who was reluctant to celebrate the contested header from an Andy Reid corner, is now happy to set the record straight. He said: 'I think it's mine. I definitely got a touch and whether it then hit Kamil I don't know, but I put it towards goal and I will be trying to claim it.
'I didn't want to celebrate it, although my team-mates didn't help, but I ran away from the Hull fans, and towards the Sunderland fans instead. I didn't really want to celebrate but it was a great moment for me and a great start to my career here.
'I didn't particularly want to move but I knew of interest in me from a few clubs and when Sunderland came in I felt it was the right time to make a change and I definitely feel this club is going places and I want to be a part of it.
'I thank all the Hull fans very much. I had a great relationship with them and everyone at the club. Hull City will always have a place in my heart.'
Bruce has suffered one blow with the loss of young midfielder David Meyler for a further month after he twisted his ankle in training.