Bruce calls for Cats consistency
Steve Bruce has urged his Sunderland side to replicate their recent form against the Premier League's lesser lights. The Black Cats have faced Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United in their opening seven games and avoided defeat against each of them. Although Bruce's men needed a last-gasp equaliser against Arsenal, they might have beaten Liverpool and United and claimed a 1-0 home win against City. But their only defeat so far has come at newly-promoted West Brom and Bruce knows Sunderland's positive results against the big boys will count for little if they fail to produce the same performances on a consistent basis. "The big test for us will be the games against the lesser sides," said the Black Cats boss. "It's a test for the supporters too, who were absolutely magnificent in the backing they gave us against United. We need them like that in every game because it's a big help. "As a team, we have a responsibility to make sure we give them something to shout about, give them a display they can get behind. Overall, we've done that so far. "The West Brom display is the only one I've been unhappy with. The Birmingham and Wigan games weren't won, I think, because we were reduced to 10 men. "But I would happily have taken eight points from the first seven games, given the teams we were playing against." Sunderland head into the international break in 11th place and will aim to build on Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to United when they travel to Blackburn for a Monday-night clash on October 18. "I've come away from the Manchester United game feeling a little bit disappointed that we haven't won it," Bruce said. "But the pleasing thing for me is that after a really tough run of fixtures, we've kept on picking up points. "We go into the break in good shape in the table when we could have been down there near the bottom. "We are a young side and a naive one at times, but the signs are looking good," he added. "You just hope they all come back from the international games OK, but in that respect we're probably helped by the fact that we've got a game on Monday rather than the weekend."
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