STEVE BRUCE has revealed that there will be no more departures from his Sunderland squad for the remainder of the year after having his squad tested further by injuries.
George McCartney was ruled out of last night’s 2-0 win over Birmingham in the Carling Cup with a bruised foot, joining Lee Cattermole and Marton Fulop on the treatment table.
Only McCartney is in with a strong chance of figuring against Wolves on Sunday and Bruce has warned wouldbe suitors that he is not prepared to reduce his small squad any further until the transfer window opens again in January.
Both David Healy and Daryl Murphy have been interesting a number of Championship clubs looking to bring in loan signings, but Bruce has other ideas – for the time being at least.
“We have not got a lot, so David is staying here and so is Murphy for the next few months because the numbers we have got is small,” said Bruce.
“We took a gamble on the players we sold in the summer because we got good offers for them. We have a smaller squad now to work with until January.”
Bruce, however, was hugely satisfied by the displays of two of his most recent recruits last night.
Both Paulo Da Silva and John Mensah turned in solid first home starts for the Black Cats, keeping a clean sheet in a new-look defence that could be a sign of the future.
The manager insists there is still room for improvement, having witnessed his team do more defending after the restart having taken a twogoal lead through Jordan Henderson and Fraizer Campbell.
“The first half we played well, but it wasn’t built in a day so they say, and the ugly side of us came out a little in the second half,” said Bruce.
“But players like Da Silva and Mensah have given me food for thought. They produced and they have asked a few questions. They have given me a good, good problem.
“You can just watch Mensah, he has that bit of quality.
That bit of arrogance. He is quick, powerful, heads well, tough. That’s why he is captain of his country. Da Silva mirrors that as well. They will be big players for the club.”
The victory was a special night for local boy Henderson.
Bruce said: “We were very comfortable and it was a very decent performance. The pleasing thing is we are through and they enjoyed themselves.
“It was good for Jordan and Fraizer. They will both have big futures here I’m sure.”