Bruce hails Hughton contribution
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has praised Newcastle counterpart Chris Hughton for the job he has done in the run-up to Sunday's derby. Geordie Bruce, who has himself been linked with the Magpies in the recent past, has nothing but praise for the man who took on the job of dragging the club back into the Premier League in the wake of relegation. He told the Journal: "I hope that they give him the respect that he deserves because he has done extremely well in difficult circumstances. "He's a proper football man and I hope that they have looked after him in a way which is right because of what he's done. "He's created a spirit amongst the players, which is very, very good. He got them promoted in a time when it was chaos, and Chris being Chris, has got the best out of what he's got." Despite those achievements, recent speculation had suggested Hughton's time at St James' Park could be drawing to a close, prompting the Magpies to release a statement last night insisting that they intend to re-negotiate his contract - which expires at the end of the season - at the turn of the year. Bruce said: "I find it appalling that he has been criticised and questioned, but that's unfortunately what we have to deal with. "For him to have to answer questions on it, I found that totally ridiculous."
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