Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is tempted to wrap star striker Darren Bent in cotton wool as he looks to prosper on two fronts.

Bruce will hand record signing Asamoah Gyan a first start for the club in Tuesday's Carling Cup third-round clash with West Ham at the Stadium of Light but it reamins to be seen whether that will be alongside Bent, who took his tally for the new campaign to six for club and country with the late leveller against Arsenal on Saturday evening.

Bruce said: "I don't think it's a rest - cotton wool comes to mind. I don't think it's a rest at this part of the season."

He added: "Make no mistake, we have some people who need games - Bolo Zenden, for instance, is one, Asamoah Gyan is another, it might be a game to have a look at young Jack Colback - those type of people need a game.

"Darren wants to play in every game, but you want him playing against Manchester United and Liverpool.

"That's my fear, not resting him at this particular moment.

"He wants to be involved in every game, he wants to be involved and score a goal, that's Darren."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Sunderland
Football
League Cup
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Manchester United
Asamoah Gyan
Jack Colback
Darren Bent
Liverpool