Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Planning Another Overhaul; Bruce Planning Another Summer Overhaul

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Planning Another Overhaul; Bruce Planning Another Summer Overhaul

Article excerpt

STEVE Bruce has promised a summer overhaul to rival the one he carried out two years ago, writes STUART RAYNER.

When Bruce moved to the Stadium of Light in 2009 it was to inherit a side yet to establish itself in the Premier League.

With Ricky Sbragia let go after another season flirting with relegation, the new man-ager carried out root-andbranch reform. Any manager ought to only do that once at a club, but Sunderland manager Bruce (pictured left) feels the need for a repeat.

His excuse is a catalogue of injuries which will see a host of key players missing the start of the new season and, in the case of Fraizer Campbell, perhaps all of it. Plan A was to simply finetune the squad with a couple of big-money signings.

Then came the controversial sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa in January and a mounting injury list. Now Bruce has tar-geted "eight or nine" new faces.

"When I first came in, I signed Bent, Campbell, (Lorik) Cana and (Lee) Cattermole and (Titus) Bramble, (Michael) Turner, and (John) Mensah on loan," he said. "We need another influx like we had then.

"I don't think people realise we had five loan players (in the season just gone). That is because the owner in previous years has spent a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with a loan player and (Nedum) Onuoha, (Danny) Welbeck and Elmo (Ahmed Elmohamady) all played huge parts in the season. We could look at that again. There's nothing wrong with that - but we had five out of 24. It shows you how light we were." Of his loan quintet, only Elmohamady is likely to return for pre-season in July after Sunderland signed the Egyptian right-sider permanently. Ghanaians Mensah and Sulley Muntari are certain not to. Muntari failed to even see the season out, sent back to Inter Milan early so as not to make the ten appearances which would have triggered a permanent deal after an under-whelming spell. …

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