Bramble keen to reignite Cats career

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble headed for South Korea on Monday ready to fight for his place.

Last Updated: 16/07/12 at 10:30 Post Comment   

Titus Bramble: Wants to stake his claim

Titus Bramble: Wants to stake his claim

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble headed for South Korea today ready to fight for his place.

The 30-year-old was among the 23-man party which left Wearside for the Peace Cup tournament as he looked to rekindle his Black Cats career.

Bramble made only eight appearances last season and just five of them under new manager Martin O'Neill, as injuries and off-field issues took their toll.

The former Ipswich, Newcastle and Wigan defender, who was cleared of two charges of sexual assault in May, is now desperate to get his career back on track by persuading O'Neill he has a role to play during the 2012-13 campaign.

He told the club's official website: "Of course I have to impress the manager because he hasn't seen much of what I can do.

"It's a case of having a good pre-season, hopefully staying injury-free and playing a few games, then taking it from there.

"The manager has been fantastic since he has been here. It's always frustrating to be injured when a new manager comes in, but hopefully when this season comes, I can stake my claim."

Bramble did return to action in the final game of last season, the 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United which formed part of a dramatic conclusion to the campaign, although he wished it could have gone on a little longer.

He said: "When I came back at the end of last season and played that one game, I didn't want the season to end.

"It was so good to be back and I felt great. It's just a shame the summer came along when it did.

"It was great to get a game, but I wish I could have had two or three more."

The group which left for the Far East included summer signing Carlos Cuellar, but not Keiren Westwood, John O'Shea, Sebastian Larsson, James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon or Ahmed Elmohamady, who have been given extra time off following international call-ups at the end of the season, while Ji Dong-won is missing the trip home because the Olympic football tournament.

There was no place either for Phil Bardsley or Matt Kilgallon as they recover from injury.

The Black Cats face K-League side Seongnam on Thursday before lining up against either German outfit Hamburg or Dutch Eredivisie side FC Groningen on Sunday.

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