Bruce wants repeat display
STEVE Bruce is hoping his side can repeat their impressive performances against the Premier League's top four when Manchester United visit the Stadium of Light today. The Black Cats have already beaten big spending Man City and earned draws against Liverpool and Arsenal and Bruce's side will be looking to spring another surprise on Sir Alex Ferguson's side. Despite enduring their worst defensive start to the season, conceding nine goals, the Red Devils are still unbeaten in the league but Bruce hopes his team will play with the same attitude they have shown against the Creme of the Premiership's crop so far. "I hope we can take the manner in which we played (against Arsenal and Liverpool)," Bruce said. "I hope we can show the same energy and commitment and take part in the game. "The control of the ball has been the really pleasing thing. Against the big teams you really have to do that. We take a confidence boost from that." In 12 years of management, Bruce has never beaten the club he spent ten years at as a player and although United endured a difficult Champions League tie midweek, the former Wigan boss knows they will still field a strong side. "I've never beaten them as a manager. It's always very difficult to write them off," Bruce said. "How do you beat them Whether it's the Man United of old they're an unbelievably hard team to beat. "They're unbeaten this season. They're still as good as they've ever been they're a threat and they can score a goals. "They look very, very difficult to beat. One sub made it and the other scored in midweek in the Champions League and that shows their strength in depth. It's interesting to see what they will do and how they will play it." Meanwhile, Bruce revealed Anton Ferdinand could be in contention for the Black Cats after recovering from a hamstring injury but admitted the game will come too early for John Mensah and Kieran Richardson. Bruce also claimed the club will be making decisions over Phil Bardsley and Andy Reid in the coming weeks, with both players out of contract next summer and he admitted it could prove difficult to convince them to stay. "Phil wants to play each week and when he plays like he did at Anfield he's a happy bunny," Bruce said. "The problem is he's not playing each week, but he's a good lad to have around the place."
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