SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce will freshen up the side for tomorrow’s Carling Cup trip to Brighton, with summer signing Keiren Westwood expected to get his first opportunity to show what he can do in goal.
And Bruce hopes with a fresh side there’ll be no hangover from the weekend derby defeat to Newcastle.
“We must get ready for the flak that’s going to come our way and get a few results, starting with the Brighton game,” admitted Bruce.
“Premier League clubs rotate their squad for the cup games because they want to give some players a chance and also protect some key players from injury, so I’ll make changes for the Brighton game. But that might not be a bad thing after the defeat at the weekend.”
The game is expected to come soon for John O’Shea. but the former Manchester United defender has a good chance of making his debut in Saturday’s Premier League match at Swansea City.
Bruce revealed: “O’Shea trained Thursday and Friday, but he’s been out for five weeks and Brighton might be too soon for him. It’s important that we handle him right and don’t ask him to come back too soon.”
H Brighton warmed up for tomorrow by drawing 2-2 with Blackpool, for whom Kevin Phillips netted twice.
Boss Gus Poyet said: “I warned my team about Phillips. You don’t need to look at videos to know all about him. I remember playing against him for Chelsea against Sunderland when he scored a couple and here he is with two more against us.”