Bruce offers Da Silva backing

30 September 2009 06:07
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has pleaded with the club's fans to be patient with summer signing Paulo Da Silva. The Paraguayan joined the Black Cats in the summer and has so far struggled to come to terms with the diversity of the Premier League. Primarily a centre-back, Da Silva has been playing at right-back, playing only once in his preferred position in the Carling Cup win over Norwich. The 29-year-old's struggles come as no surprise to Bruce, who has a good track record of signings from outside of Europe. "The one thing I will say about players who come from South America is that, generally, they do take time to adapt to our football, to Premier League football," Bruce told Sunderland Echo. "They need a little bit of time and a little bit of patience. Bruce's time in charge of Wigan was largely successful as signings such as Wilson Palacios and Antonio Valencia earned the club huge profits when they joined Tottenham and Manchester United respectively. Now in charge at the Stadium of Light, Bruce is eager to point out his fine record of signings from the American continents and is willing to give Da Silva the time he needs to settle in. "As a manager, you know that if you have a player who has what it takes, then that class will come through sooner or later if the player is handled right," he added. "In my experience of them, with Wilson Palacios it took six months, Antonio Valencia it took six months, Maynor Figeuroa it took six months, (Hugo) Rodallega it took six months and I'm sure that the player Wigan have recently signed, Hendry Thomas, will also take six months. "They need time to properly adapt and everyone has to show a little bit of patience and understanding during that time. "But they get there in the end and, believe me, it tends to be worth the wait because the one thing you have when you come over here from South America is you have heart, you are tough. "You've usually had to fight like dogs to succeed and they show those same fighting qualities in the way they play over here." "You look at Paulo and he's 29, so he's very experienced and he's in his peak years," added Bruce. "But the one thing I would say about him is that he's desperate to prove himself in the Premier League. "He's done it in South America where he's been voted among the best defenders on that continent three years in a row. "He has an outstanding playing record in terms of consistency and avoiding injury, but he's also been an outstanding captain of club and country. "So we hope he can do it as well."

Source: SKY_Sports