Bruce facing headache as injuries mount

10 December 2009 04:15
SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce is facing up to a major selection crisis ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with basement boys Portsmouth.

The Black Cats could be without as many as eight potential starters with injuries and suspensions biting hard into the 48-year-old's squad as he looks to bounce back from disappointing away defeats at Wigan and Fulham.

Bruce has particular problems at the back where Anton Ferdinand was today ruled out for up to six weeks by the ankle injury he suffered at Craven Cottage on Sunday, while Bolo Zenden, who might have been drafted in at left-back with Kieran Richardson banned and George McCartney struggling with a hamstring strain, damaged his own hamstring in training yesterday.

With first-choice right-back Phil Bardsley also suspended and John Mensah out with a troublesome calf problem, Sunderland face the prospect of fielding a makeshift back four, while fitness concerns further up the field have seen 18-year-old striker Ryan Noble drafted into the squad.

Full story in tomorrow's The Northern Echo

Source: Northern_Echo