Bruce may turn to third-choice Carson

Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 by PA

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will make a late decision on whether to hand young goalkeeper Trevor Carson a senior debut against Hull.

Craig Gordon (thigh) and Marton Fulop (heel) are both doubts, and the Northern Ireland international is on stand-by to take over.

Full-back George McCartney is out with a hamstring injury, and Bruce will choose between loan signing John Mensah, Paulo da Silva and Kieran Richardson for a replacement.

Midfielder Lee Cattermole is expected to shake off a slight groin injury picked up on England Under-21 duty, but the manager will assess Kenwyne Jones, Da Silva and Lorik Cana after their late returns from international duty.

Bruce has challenged new signing Michael Turner to make a late run for Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

The 25-year-old defender is in line to make his debut for the Black Cats against former club Hull after completing a move to the Stadium of Light as the summer transfer window drew to a close.

Turner's excellent first season in the Barclays Premier League with the Tigers took him to the fringes of the national squad, and although he currently has the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Matthew Upson and Joleon Lescott ahead of him in the pecking order, his new manager believes he has the potential to go all the way.

Bruce said: "I know he has been on the fringes of it. On a couple of Saturday nights, I do believe he has been on stand-by.

"He is up against some very, very good players in that department, but it just shows you how well he has done."

"Everybody looked at him for a long, long time in the lower divisions, and he needed a crack at the Premier League.

"He grasped it last year very easily.

Turner's capture came amid another big spending spree on Wearside as owner Ellis Short sanctioned purchases amounting to around #36million, and Bruce knows the pressure is now on to justify that outlay.

He said: "You are judged and people will be looking and thinking, 'Hang on a minute, Sunderland have spent a right few quid'.

"The one thing you have to do is when you spend a few bob is to improve."

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink looks set to be handed his Hull debut, with fellow striker Caleb Folan likely to leave the club.

Folan has started all four of the Tigers' Premier League matches to date but could now be sent out on loan after boss Phil Brown signed the Dutch forward.

Brown will check on the fitness of Jozy Altidore, who returned from international duty in Trinidad and Tobago this morning, but long-term absentees Ian Ashbee, Jimmy Bullard and Richard Garcia are still sidelined with knee injuries, as are Dean Marney and Anthony Gardner.

As well as Turner's, there are a number of other sub-plots at play when the sides kick-off.

Brown himself was a boyhood Sunderland fan, while Fraizer Campbell joins Turner in facing his former club.

Irish defender Paul McShane, meanwhile, returns to the Stadium of Light for the first time since signing a permanent deal with City.

"There's a bit of spice about it but it's not about Michael Turner or Fraizer Campbell, and it's not about Phil Brown and Steve Bruce," said the Hull boss.

"It's about Sunderland versus Hull City and our new squad against their new squad.

"Steve will have high expectations about what Sunderland will do this year, and I expect them to finish in the top half, but it's up to us to stick a spanner in the works."

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