Bruce to let pair depart
STEVE Bruce will invite offers for both David Healy and Roy O'Donovan during the January transfer window. With Martyn Waghorn expected to return from his loan spell at Leicester to supplement the Black Cats' frontline attacking trio of Darren Bent, Kenwyne Jones and Fraizer Campbell, Bruce will attempt to reduce his forward cover when the transfer window reopens in the New Year. At the moment, Bruce boasts Healy, O'Donovan and Daryl Murphy as alternatives to his leading goalscoring lights, but none of the trio have featured prominently in the opening three-and-a-half months of the season. Murphy has made just three senior appearances all of which were in the Carling Cup but Bruce remains reluctant to lose the Republic of Ireland international on a permanent basis. He is more willing to wave goodbye to Healy and O'- Donovan, and clubs will be tacitly encouraged to approach the Black Cats about the duo in January. Healy has made four substitute appearances this season, one of which came in the final six minutes at Wigan last weekend, while O'Donovan has not made a single senior outing under Bruce. Healy has not scored since netting in the FA Cup in February, and having recently lost his international place, the Northern Irishman would welcome an opportunity to revive his career away from the Stadium of Light. O'Donovan spent a month on loan at Southend United earlier this season, but it remains to be seen whether the Cork-born frontman will be willing to accept a drop in wages in order to secure regular first-team football in either the Championship or League One. Meanwhile, Bruce has described the FA Cup as a priority for his side following Sunday's favourable thirdround draw. Sunderland were handed a home draw with either Oxford United or Barrow the two Blue Square Premier sides lock horns in a second-round replay next Tuesday and while Bruce insists the Black Cats cannot afford to take anything for granted, he admits the FA Cup is at the forefront of his thoughts. It's an opportunity for us, that's for sure, he said. The FA Cup is a priority for us this season and we want to go as far as possible. But whichever of the two sides we face, we won't be thinking it will be a walkover. This competition always produces shocks, and we must take every precaution to make sure we don't end up getting a nasty surprise. There's no pressure on a non-league side coming up here they will come up for a good day out and to give it a go against us.
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