Bruce refuses to bow to pressure to pair Bent and Gyan
DESPITE having a £13m striker on the bench, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce will not bow to demands from fans and partner Asamoah Gyan with Darren Bent - yet. Gyan is yet to start a league game for the Black Cats since his record-breaking move from French side Rennes in August, with Bruce tending to name Bent as his lone frontman. Successive goalless draws and an over-reliance on Bent to score Sunderland's goals have led to a clamour for the Ghanaian to start. However, Bruce insists he will not hand Gyan a first start just because many of the supporters want him to. Instead he will go with his judgement, meaning Bent is likely to be on his own through the middle again against Aston Villa today. Pressure is the one thing you can't buckle under in management, said the Sunderland boss. I brought Asamoah in because he is a very good player. We had lost Fraizer Campbell and of course if Benty's groin had left him out for a month or six weeks where would that have left us But the team has played very, very well and the team always comes before the individual. That is all I am concerned about. You could say we have paid £13m for him and he is sitting on the bench but the other day I had a £9m keeper and four World Cup quarter-finalists there too. What do you do Bruce's mentality is one of why change something that isn't broken, meaning Craig Gordon will find himself among the substitutes again today with Belgian Simon Mignolet in good form. He feels that defensively Sunderland are in decent shape, but he is desperate to see his team find goals from other areas. Other than Bent, Gyan's only Premier League strike and a Stephen Carr own goal are the only way Sunderland have scored in the league this season. Bruce, who is particularly looking for improvements from midfield, said: Ahmed Elmohamady has always chipped in with a goal, Jordan Henderson has scored for England Under-21s and we know he can do it for us. Lee Cattermole, maybe not. Steed has not scored for two years, which you do scratch your head about. Danny Welbeck is only young and has only been at the club for a few games. He is a striker. We do need goals from these players. I hope there are goals there. Jordan looks like the type who can score ten a season eventually when he learns about arriving in the box and gets that little bit of know how. I watch him do it in training so I know he is capable of it. We were too brittle defensively last season, this season we need to find goals from somewhere, that has been our Achilles heel.
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