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Bruce no fan of referee Friend
16 Dec 2009 - 09:33:28
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was highly critical of referee Kevin Friend following his side's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
Friend sent off Black Cats skipper Lorik Cana in the 78th minute for two bookable offences and was booed off at half and full-time by an unhappy Stadium of Light.
"If he was ever going to be sent off, it would be tonight," reflected Bruce.
"I thought the referee's performance - I have never criticised referees - but his first-half performance was shocking.
"He (Cana) can't go to ground when he is on a yellow card but I am not going to take that competitive edge away from him.
"He has got to learn from it, that's for sure, but, certainly, he is not a problem.
"But it happened and he is suspended and he will be missing at the weekend, which will be a big blow to us."
Meanwhile, Bruce has vowed to find an answer to his side's recent struggles after the Cats extended their recent poor form to one win in eight league games.
"It is now when you earn your money, now when you earn your corn, as they say," continued Bruce.
"We have had a poor run, there's no disguising that. We have to get out of it, it's as simple as that."