Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Calms Darren Fears after Posh Win

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Calms Darren Fears after Posh Win

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

STEVE Bruce reckons he has pencilled in "eight or nine" of the team who will lead Sunderland into the Premier League campaign next weekend.

He has also reassured nervous Black Cats fans striker Darren Bent will be one of them.

Bruce led his Black Cats to a fifth pre-season win in six games at Peterborough last night, but there was disappointment among the visiting support and in the away dug-out that Bent was not in the team.

The England hitman has agreed a four-year deal and sailed through a medical at the Academy of Light - but the deal is being held up by a minor issue between Sunderland and Spurs.

Bruce admitted to his frustration last night, but said he was confident Bent will be a Sunderland player by close of play today - as well as praising the 25-year-old for his hunger to play for the Black Cats.

In his absence, new signing Fraizer Campbell bagged a debut goal from the penalty spot to help the Wearsiders to a deserved 2-0 victory in a low-key match against Peterborough.

Posh defender Danny Blanchett had put through his own goal from a David Healy cross to give Sunderland the lead on 78 minutes.

It will not have taught him much he did not already know, but Bruce was happy enough with the work-out against a Peterborough side which included few of the players who will kick off their Championship campaign on Saturday. Still, Bruce has already seen enough from Sunderland's protracted preseason to have most of his starting XI for the Bolton game already picked.

He said: "I have eight or nine already in mind. I do not yet have a captain in mind - I am analysing that at the moment.

"I will probably not make a final announcement until the transfer window closes." Bruce still hopes to sign two more players before the window slams shut at the end of the month - but it is the prize capture of Bent which will catch the eye of their Premier League rivals. …

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