Bruce: Cats pair must be ready
Bruce paired loan signing Nicklas Bendtner with Benin international Stephane Sessegnon in attack once again against West Brom on Saturday and saw the Denmark international score his first goal for the club and then set up the Ahmed Elmohamady equaliser which secured a 2-2 draw. However, he also invested a total of more than £10million in Wickham, who missed out at the weekend with a groin strain, and Ji, a second-half substitute, and is confident they too will have significant roles to play this season. Bruce said: "We keep saying this and we know we haven't got time, but we have made 10 or 11 changes [to the squad over the summer], so it's important for all 10, 11 [to have time to gel]. "Sessegnon and Bendtner for a start - they have only been with each other for two or three weeks and they looked very, very good on Saturday. "But certainly, Connor and Ji are in my thoughts. Their time might be just around the corner too, so let's hope when they get their chance, they can give everybody a lift too." Bendtner finally opened his Sunderland account at the fourth attempt against the Baggies, and it proved a crucial strike as it inspired a fightback following a dismal opening five minutes at the Stadium of Light which saw the home side concede twice. The fact that he also provided the ammunition for Elmohamady to do the same further endeared him to fans who have had little to cheer so far this season. Bruce, who worked with the Arsenal man during their time together at Birmingham, was always confident he would bring an added dimension to his team, and even in last Monday night's desperately disappointing 2-1 defeat at Norwich, the manager saw enough to reinforce his belief that the frontman can prosper on Wearside. He said: "Nick was our best player by a million miles. He has settled in very, very quickly and very, very well and been a big plus point. "He was terrific against Norwich and if we had got better service to him quicker, I'm sure we would have been better as a team." Saturday's fightback eased the pressure on Bruce slightly, but the fact remains that the Black Cats have taken just six points from their opening seven Premier League fixtures and have won just one of them. That has left them in 16th place in the table heading into their next game, a tricky trip to under-performing Arsenal a week on Sunday.