Sunderland boss Steve Bruce insists he won't freeze out defender Anton Ferdinand.
Ferdinand wasn't in the squad for the first two games of the campaign but grasped his chance in the Carling Cup.
Now the big defender comes into contention along with Michael Turner, Titus Bramble and Paulo Da Silva as the foursome chase the two central berths.
"With Onuoha unavailable and Mensah out we're a bit thin so I've got a decision to make," Bruce admitted to safc.com.
"Ferdinand played very well at right back against Colchester and he is in the equation."
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