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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 15:18 UK

Sunderland defender Ferdinand thankful for Bruce chance

Anton Ferdinand
Ferdinand has been given 29 as his shirt number for this season

Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand has thanked manager Steve Bruce for giving him a second chance in the first-team despite a summer bust-up.

Ferdinand's future at Sunderland looked bleak after he was left off the club's squad numbers list but he has since forced his way back into Bruce's plans.

"I'm happy to get the call and I'm thankful the gaffer didn't hold a grudge," Ferdinand told BBC Newcastle.

"He gave me an opportunity and with my performances I could pay him back."

Ferdinand added: "Bruce has got to take a lot of credit for that because a lot of managers would hold a grudge but he didn't he let me come in and get involved and play against Colchester, it was the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Anyone who knows me, knows it's not in my character to shy away from things, people around me have helped with things in the last couple of months.

"I took some time out, but I was working and making sure I kept myself in shape and it showed when I came back."

The 25-year-old has become a versatile asset to manager Steve Bruce in recent weeks, operating at right back and centre-back for the Black Cats, and was handed the number 29 shirt for the rest of the campaign.

It is a position Ferdinand is happy to be in.

"As I've said on many occasions, as long as I'm playing in the game I don't care where I'm playing, you'll see the same application," he continued.

"Wherever I play you'll see me wearing my heart on my sleeve."

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