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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 15:42 UK

Bruce fearful of player injuries

Steve Bruce
Bruce believes Darren Bent could have made the England squad

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has revealed his fears over the fitness of players who have gone away on international duty.

The Black Cats boss says he is concerned given past experiences with players returning injured.

"Last time [defender] George McCartney pulled a hamstring and [goalkeeper] Marton Fulop hurt his calf," he told BBC Newcastle.

"That's the big worry for me, we're not the biggest of squads."

There were also disappointments with players missing out on call-ups including striker Darren Bent, who was omitted from England's party for the qualifiers with the Ukraine and Belarus.

The 25-year-old leads the Premier League goalscoring charts as far as English players are concerned with seven goals - just one short of overall top scorer Fernando Torres.

And Bruce admitted the striker can feel hard done by in missing out.

"Managers make decisions, pick squads, that's not anything to do with me thankfully - it's enough to pick a team here," he said.

"But there's two or three of them, Andy Reid, Darren Bent, who can particularly feel aggrieved that they're not involved in their national teams but that's up to the respective managers who manage them."

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