Bruce: Watch us improve
SUNDERLAND manager Steve Bruce has issued a give me time plea to chairman Niall Quinn and owner Ellis Short. The Black Cats boss believes his Sunderland side will eventually fulfill its true potential if he is given time to nurture a squad which is currently the youngest in the Premier League. Bruce's comments were made after he backed underpressure Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson to turn things around at Anfield. It is very difficult to judge anyone after five or six games or 15 months, said the 49- year-old manager. I think Liverpool have the right man in charge. He has got vast experience. It is a difficult time. Unlike Hodgson, Bruce has enjoyed the luxury of a stability behind the scenes at the Stadium of Light. The same cannot be said at Liverpool, whose supporters demonstrated against American club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett for more than half an hour after the game on Saturday. Always in my experience if it is not right above you then it filters down, even at Liverpool, he observed. It's unbelievable at Liverpool because they've never had it before. It has always been stable at the top and it has always been run properly and always been an institution. At the moment there is instability at the top and that filters down, so for Roy and everyone involved there is going to be difficult times ahead until it gets resolved. Bruce, of course, encountered a similar experience while he was in charge at Birmingham. The Blues were going through an ownership change which culminated with the ex-Manchester United skipper quitting his post. There is no such tempest blowing on the Wear with Short and Quinn running a tight ship in calm waters. But Bruce is well aware circumstances could change should results not go his way and that is why he is asking for time to develop his fledgling side. We've made something like 30 changes (going) out in 18 months and we've gone for young players, said Bruce. I can see the makings, if we get a fair crack of the whip, of a very decent team. When they get together and play a bit more, like (Jordan) Henderson and (Ahmed) Elmohamody from Egypt; they all played exceptionally well (at Liverpool) along with my two centre backs. We played really well against Arsenal and I should have freshened it up for the League Cup against West Ham. I made a mistake. But overall I'm very pleased. I'm 15/16 months in to the job but I'd still like another year to see where we are. I think we've made big strides. The way we took the ball and played, that is the big thing I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure we had a team that had something about them. To go to Anfield and play the way we did, we should be talking about how well we did. On another day, if the referee had done it right, we would have won the match. Sunderland's teenage striker Ryan Noble has joined Derby County on a month's loan and is likely to be on the bench against Middlesbrough tonight.
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