Bramble bailed over rape claim
Sunderland defender Titus Bramble is in line to return to action on the pitch after being bailed by police investigating an allegation of rape. The 29-year-old hit the headlines on Wednesday after being arrested in connection with an incident at a Newcastle hotel. Chairman Niall Quinn last night insisted Bramble, a summer signing from Wigan, is innocent and manager Steve Bruce today added his backing. The former Ipswich and Newcastle player missed Tuesday night's 2-1 Carling Cup defeat by West Ham with a slight knock, but trained this morning after being questioned by police and is in line to start Saturday's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield. Bruce said: "He wants to play. He wanted to be in this morning and he wants to go and put the record straight. He wishes he could, but legally we can't. "But we want the case resolved and I just want to reiterate what Niall said, that we are all behind him, we are all 100% convinced that he has got nothing to do with this allegation and we will get on with it and hope the conclusion comes quickly. "He wants to just go and play and forget about it. It's unfortunate, what has happened, but he plays, it's as simple as that." While the Black Cats are confident Bramble has committed no criminal offence, his presence in Newcastle on Tuesday night was a breach of club rules and he could yet find himself in hot water closer to home. Bruce said: "All I will say is the disappointment I have is that he shouldn't be out on a Tuesday night in a nightclub, and he knows that. But that's his only offence. "The rest of it, we hope that the matter - and I speak for everybody now - can just be dealt with as quickly as possible and will sort itself out quickly, because it needs to."
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