Bruce rules out loan exits for Healy and Murphy
Steve Bruce has told any interested parties he will not allow David Healy or Daryl Murphy to leave Sunderland on loan as the manager aims to keep his squad intact through to the January transfer window.
Both forwards have been heavily linked with a departure from Sunderland and reports on Monday claimed that Coventry City were close to clinching a loan deal for Healy, who has not started a league game since his move from Fulham in the summer of 2008.
Murphy had been attracting interest from Ipswich Town but with injuries impacting on squad numbers, Bruce is unwilling to sanction either player's departure until January at the earliest.
Sunderland have seen summer signing Darren Bent star alongside Kenwyne Jones, with the former Tottenham striker claiming five goals in six games, while Fraizer Campbell scored his first goal for the club in Tuesday's Carling Cup victory over Birmingham.
"David is staying here and so is Daryl, for the next two or three months at least," Bruce told the Evening Chronicle. "What you saw on the bench last night - plus Marton Fulop, George McCartney and Lee Cattermole [who are out injured] - is what we've got. We've got a smaller squad now, but I'm hoping it will see us through the next 15 games or so until January."
Sunderland face Wolves at the Stadium of Light on Sunday and Bruce has a number of injury concerns to contend with. McCartney could play despite carrying a foot injury, but Cattermole is a doubt with a heel problem and goalkeeper Fulop is also unlikely to feature having sustained a similar injury.
"George has got a knock on his foot - he picked it up on the eve of the Burnley game after getting over his hamstring problem," Bruce said. "It's badly bruised and very sore. I would expect him to be in contention for Sunday, though.
"Lee has got a similar kind of heel injury to the one Marton has, and it's causing us a bit of concern. I would say Catts is 50-50 for the Wolves game at the moment."