John O’Shea ruled out of Sunderland opener, but Bruce says signing of Manchester United stars is a good sign of progress

Sunderland's John O'Shea.

Sunderland's John O'Shea.

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SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce believes the captures of Wes Brown and John O’Shea from Manchester United proves the club’s progress.

O’Shea is out if the Black Cats’ opening game of the season at Liverpool tomorrow and Brown is expected to partner Anton Ferdinand in the centre of defence.

But the fact that two men – who won every prize in the game during their Old Trafford years – are with Sunderland has proved a huge boost to Bruce going into the new campaign.

Bruce said: “It helped get other signings across the line this summer that we have been able to attract people like John O’Shea and Wes Brown, who have 750 between them at Manchester United.

“It’s not just their ability, it’s their attitude and winning mentality that rubs off on everyone.

“I don’t think that, three or four years ago, we could have got people like that to come here.”