Bruce: We will be all right
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will not bow to the pressure of the toughest spell of his reign to date.The 49-year-old enjoyed a hugely encouraging start to his tenure on Wearside, amassing 20 Barclays Premier League points from the first 39 on offer - a return which included famous home victories over both Liverpool and Arsenal.Apart from a frustrating inability to reproduce their home form on the road, a Black Cats side in which new additions Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole, Lorik Cana and Michael Turner were shining was looking set fair for a much improved campaign which, many commentators predicted, could be rewarded with a European flirtation.However, with injuries and suspensions having decimated Bruce's squad during the ensuing weeks, the last nine league games have brought just three points and seen the club slide to a position which sees them head into Monday's home clash with Stoke in 13th place and only three points clear of the drop zone.It has proved a testing period for Bruce, although he is convinced his team's fortunes will improve once he has a full squad from which to choose once again.He said: "It's been the toughest, yes, but it's part and parcel of it. I could make excuses all day long of what the problems are - the simple fact is we need to get people fit. Once we do that and I can get my big players fit, we will be all right. Please believe me, we will be all right."
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