Bruce - Ferdinand must fight
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce says defender Anton Ferdinand must fight for his place back in the team.
Last Updated: 19/08/10 5:45pm
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce says want away defender Anton Ferdinand must fight for his place back in the team.
Ferdinand was left out of the squad for the Black Cats' opening day draw against Birmingham and was widely believed to be on his way out of the club.
The 25-year-old has fallen out of favour under Bruce and was expected to link up with Serie A side Palermo.
The Italian club had looked to secure loan terms for the former West Ham man, but have since relinquished their interest.
And Bruce says that represents an opportunity for the stopper for force his way back into his plans at the Stadium of Light.
Bruce told Sky Sports News: "There was a proposed loan move to Palermo - I believe that's off at the moment. He's returned back to the club.
"He's training with us and as far as I'm concerned he's here. He'll have to earn his place back in the team."
Meanwhile, Bruce has brought in World Cup final referee Howard Webb to work with his squad in an attempt to improve discipline.
Lee Cattermole was the first to see red in the new campaign when he was given his marching orders inside the first half of the Black Cats draw against Birmingham.
The boss is now keen to curb any potential disciplinary problems, which curtailed key players like Cattermole for long periods of the last season.
Bruce added: "For the vast majority of the game, I think if we had stayed with 11 men - we'd have been comfortable winners because the first half was just what we're looking for.
"We were in complete control and unfortunately we've had a man sent off. We must improve that."