No panic for Bruce as he waits for Bent deal
Peterborough United 0 Sunderland 2 STEVE BRUCE last night insisted there is nothing sinister about the delays that have prevented Darren Bent from becoming a Sunderland player and hopes to have the Tottenham striker in his squad to face Hearts on Saturday. Theres a great saying, said Bruce. Good things come to those who wait. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is in the United States but Bruce is confident the deal can finally be closed within 24 hours. I know that I am starting to sound like a broken record but we hope that we can get there tomorrow. We hope that we can give him his debut at Hearts, he revealed. There is no hold up and nothing sinister about it. The deal is just between the two clubs now. They have yet to finalise the agreement. Were a tiny way away. Its obviously been protracted but we hope were not far away now. I just think that when youve got the goalscoring record that hes got, and hes only 24, that speaks for itself. It hasnt quite happened for him at Tottenham but you look at all the people that he had to compete with Berbatov, Keane, theyre not bad players. Hes made it obvious that he wants to sign and hes made us keep it alive. There have been times when I thought we had it over the line and we didnt get it there. But hes adamant that he wants to come and be a Sunderland centre forward which is terrific. Bruce confirmed that he does not expect to make any other breakthroughs in the transfer market this week. There is nothing else imminent. Although we have only got ten days before the season starts, weve got just over four weeks before the window shuts, he said. A lot of people are still jostling for position, I think. But you can see flashes from Lorik (Cana), from Fraizer Campbell as well. Theyre about two weeks behind the main group but Ive seen enough there in terms of ability. Lorik is a yard short at the moment but that was his first 90 minutes. Hes definitely what were looking for hes got that competitive edge. He will be a big player for us. Hes got all the right attributes to enjoy England as well hes certainly up for the challenge! Striker Omar Tounkara, on trial from French second division side Sedan, was brought on for the final minute of the contest and was involved in a late Sunderland breakaway. Hes been with us a week. Hes only 18, hes one for the future, said Bruce. A Danny Blanchett own goal and a Campbell penalty in the space of three second half minutes put a gloss on what was an uninspiring game that will have told Bruce little about his players. After being tripped in the box by Sam Gaughran, Campbell got up to smash an unstoppable spot kick to the goalkeepers right hand. That followed a surging run and shot from David Healy down the right flank that was turned into his own net by the Peterborough left back. Bruce made eight changes from the side that secured a 2- 1 win at Celtic Park last Saturday. The manager chose to rest several of the players whove featured heavily in pre-season meaning Carlos Edwards was pressed into the right back slot with Daryl Murphy and Anthony Stokes handed opportunities to impress on either flank. Edwards stuck to his task but Bruces search for a new right back will continue. Cana caught the eye with his driving runs and willingness to put himself at the heart of the midfield battle and he is already becoming a folk hero among the Black Cats supporters. Had the match not been a friendly however, the referee would have shown the Albania skipper a yellow card at the very least. PETERBOROUGH (4-4-2): McKeown, Blanchett, Day, Perce, Gaughran, Crook, Frecklington, Keates (Mills 58), Mackail- Smith (Andrew 58), Torres, Green (Korentang 84). Subs (not used): Lewis, McCrae, Piergianni SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Fulop, Edwards, McCartney, Collins, Nosworthy, Tainio (Tounkara 90), Stokes (Jones 69), Cana, Campbell (ODonovan 86), Healy (Cook 86), Murphy (Reid 69). Subs (not used): Henderson, Misiewicz Martyn Waghorn is poised to join Championship side Leicester City on loan until Christmas and midfielder Jack Colback is being sent to Ipswich to gain first team experience away from the Stadium of Light. Sunderland were last night reported to be in talks with Egyptian winger Ahmed Al- Muhammadi. The 21-year-old currently plays for ENPPI in his homeland, and his agent Nader Shawki said: Al-Muhammadi had a successful trial with Sunderland at the weekend and manager Steve Bruce was impressed. Negotiations between Sunderland and ENPPI should be concluded in the next few days. Shawki is also the agent of Amr Zaki and is understood to have established a good relationship with Bruce during the strikers spell with Wigan last season.
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