Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge joins Sunderland on loan in time to face Norwich City

Martin O'Neill yesterday clinched his first signing as Sunderland manager when he landed Wayne Bridge on loan until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old Manchester City full-back was signed in time to go straight into the squad for tonight's Premier League home game against the Canaries.

O'Neill said: 'I'm hoping that with Wayne's undoubted experience and ability he can be a big help to the team until the end of the season.

'I'm very pleased to have him here and with the number of injuries we've sustained recently I'm sure he'll be a great help to us.''

Bridge has played just 78 minutes of senior football this season after slipping down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium. His only appearance of the campaign to date came in a 2-0 Carling Cup third round victory over Birmingham on September 21.

Bridge joined City from Chelsea in a �12m move in January 2009, but has managed only 58 appearances in his three years with the club.

Bridge, who has 30 senior England caps, would fill a position which has been vacant for some time at the Stadium of Light.

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Right-back Phil Bardsley or midfielder Kieran Richardson have played on the left side of defence for the last two seasons.

Bridge is included in the midst of an injury crisis that has robbed O'Neill of defenders Wes Brown (medial ligament), Titus Bramble (Achilles/foot) and Matt Kilgallon (ankle). Midfielder David Vaughan (ankle ligaments) is likely to be out for several weeks, while skipper Lee Cattermole (hamstring) remains a doubt.

O'Neill will hope striker Fraizer Campbell has had no reaction to his first senior appearance in 17 months at the weekend following two serious knee injuries, while Nicklas Bendtner recovers from a fractured nose.

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