Headache for Bruce as fifth booking earns Cana ban

02 November 2009 10:29
STEVE Bruce faces a selection headache ahead of Sunderlands trip to Tottenham next weekend.

The Black Cats boss travels to White Hart Lane with the spine of his side almost ripped out following the clubs 2-2 draw with West Ham at the Stadium of Light.

Bruce has already lost the combative skills of Lee Cattermole to injury, but now he has to do without inspirational skipper Lorik Cana and Kenwyne Jones when he goes head to head with Harry Redknapps high-flyers.

Cana picked up his fifth booking of the campaign and receives an automatic onematch ban, while Jones misses three games for his sending- off for violent conduct.

The Albania international believes he has been harshly punished. But in truth the midfielder can count himself fortunate he didnt take an early bath following a twofooted lunge on Valon Behrami moments after he was booked.

The referee told me to be careful because if I made another dangerous tackle he would have to give me another yellow card, said Cana, who admitted he will still travel with the team to Spurs.

I tried to be careful but it was difficult. I thought it was wrong to give me a yellow card for the first tackle. It was a foul, not a booking. I didnt mean to injure my opponent.

Bruce is disappointed to be without some of his influential stars come Saturday, but threw down the gauntlet to the likes of Fraizer Campbell, George McCartney and Jordan Henderson to make the most of their opportunities.

This is the hardship we have to deal with. Cattermole, Cana and Kenwyne are a big part of our team and we hope, like Reidy showed, when the others get their chance they will grab it.

Sunderland might well have lost this game at this stage last season. But Bruces charges, despite one or two below par outings this term, have showed a steely resilience so often missing from former Wearside teams.

The manager, while recognising his teams new-found fortitude, modestly played down his part.

The personnel has changed a bit, reflected Bruce. The captain (Cana) helps because he leads by example, he doesnt take any nonsense does he

Im not saying were the real deal because a week ago I was raging over the performance at Birmingham.

But Bruce added of his teams comeback: We were better with ten men. The second half performance was absolutely fantastic. We should have won the game, we had enough chances. We had two in the first two minutes of the second half. It was a wonderful spectacle.

The one thing I was worried about was fatigue after playing extra time on Tuesday.

It just goes to show that all this stuff about resting people is nonsense.

Source: Northern_Echo

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