Bruce faces selection headache

Boss has options up front and at left-back

Bruce: Options

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Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits he faces a selection headache this weekend, but is not complaining.

Striker Fraizer Campbell impressed when filling in for first-choice forward Kenwyne Jones during their 4-1 victory over Hull City on Saturday.

Jones was rested by Bruce when he arrived home on the day of the match after international duty with Trinidad and Tobago, allowing Campbell to partner Darren Bent up front.

Campbell took the opportunity to impress with some good link-up play with Bent, the club's top scorer with four goals this season.

Now Bruce must decide whether to reward the 22-year-old with another starting role as the team travel to Burnley on Saturday, or reunite his first choice pairing of Jones and Bent.

"I didn't consider Kenwyne last weekend because of his long flight back," Bruce told the Sunderland Echo.

"I had Fraizer there, champing at the bit - I wanted to give him a chance to show what he can do - and Fraizer and Darren showed signs of developing an understanding and a partnership, both in training and in the match.

"We won 4-1 and now I have to decide whether to bring back Kenwyne or not.

"But that's what I get paid for - management is all about making these kind of decisions."

Caution

Elsewhere, Bruce faces a similar dilemma with the left-back position which was successfully filled by winger Kieran Richardson against Hull.

However, with Burnley already showing their strength at Turf Moor with wins over Manchester United and Everton this season, Bruce may be forced to recall a more defence-minded reinforcement.

That may mean a return to the first team for Paulo Da Silva, the Paraguay international defender signed by Bruce in the summer transfer window.

However, the game may come too soon for hamstring victim George McCartney, who looks set to miss his second game in as many weeks.

"George was running on Monday and looked good, considering it was only 10 days since he picked up the injury," said Bruce.

"But, given his history with hamstring problems, I'm going to err on the side of caution with him. I doubt very much that I will risk him on Saturday.

"I've no need to take a chance, because Kieran did a good job for me at left-back against Hull and, of course, Paulo can play there too."

Fitness

Bruce was also keen to praise in-form winger Andy Reid, who looks to have shelved his weight problems in a bid to reignite his career.

"The one person who can be sure of playing (against Burnley) is Reidy, because he had a marvellous game against Hull," said Bruce.

"The stats backed that up - in terms of fitness levels, he was number one on the pitch.

"He covered more distance, he sprinted more than anyone else and his high-intensity was better than anyone else."