Sunderland squad exposed - Bruce

08 January 2011 07:42
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce blasted his squad after they slumped to a 2-1 FA Cup home defeat against Notts County.Bruce made seven changes to the team that beat Aston Villa in midweek and fumed: "We simply aren't good enough. [LNB]"With six or seven out we simply couldn't handle it, so that's the disappointing thing for me. [LNB]"People knocking on my door wanting a game were found sadly wanting. Excuses are unfair on County, we got our backsides kicked, and rightly so." [LNB]Veteran striker Lee Hughes hit what proved to be the winner for League One County after Craig Westcarr's cross was fumbled by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who collided with Kieran Richardson under challenge from Hughes, for the opening goal. [LNB]Darren Bent ensured a tense finish when he scored a penalty on 81 minutes and could have equalised in a long period of injury time. [LNB]"Simply on the day, we didn't perform well enough, and when you perform like that and you are lacklustre like we were, then we got exactly what we deserved," admitted Bruce.[LNB] Sunderland fan in peace. I would just like to say very well done on a superb performance and gaining a fully deserved victory. We did not turn up but take nothing away from your team and fantastic fans you were brilliant. I am gutted but credit where it is due. sol-49000 Former Sunderland midfielder Alex Rae, now assistant to Paul Ince at County, said: "It's always difficult coming up here. We knew we were coming up to face a very good Sunderland team, so we are absolutely delighted to be in the next round. [LNB]"Hughes is an absolute handful. He has scored six goals in seven games, so he has still got a lot to offer. [LNB]"But it is not just that, his physical presence helps us a lot as well. He gets a lot of flick-ons and he is a handful." [LNB]Rae was sent up to do the post-match press conference by superstitious manager Ince, having done so throughout the club's unbeaten seven-game run, and when asked about the opening goal he said: "Somebody said maybe Hughesy might have pushed someone, but I still haven't seen it. [LNB]"But it settled us down a little bit, getting the early goal. Once you have got that lead, it's always something to cling on to and you tend to find an extra yard. [LNB]"I felt as if we were quite comfortable in the first half. I don't think they created a lot and we might have nicked another one through Westcarr."

Source: BBC_Sport