Titus Bramble: Sunderland must be brave enough to clinch a place in Europe

04 January 2011 12:41
Sunderland defender Titus Bramble says the club should not be afraid to admit they are aiming for Europe.[LNB]Heading for Europe? Titus Bramble insists Sunderland are good enough to make it[LNB]Players, supporters and even manager Steve Bruce are reluctant to get carried away by their lofty Barclays Premier League position at the turn of the year.[LNB]But Bramble, who played in Europe under Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle, had no hesitation talking about 'The E word' as stand-in captain for the injured Lee Cattermole for Saturday's comfortable 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.[LNB]The defender said: `We are back to sixth in the table and confidence is sky high. It was a good performance and now you never know, we have got to be aiming for Europe.[LNB]'I don't think we should show a lack of confidence because we are a good team, so why not go for Europe? Why shouldn't we?[LNB]'I think we are good enough, especially with the way we play at home. You have to set yourself high targets in this game and I don't see anything wrong with that. [LNB]'This is a massive club and I think this season we have a great chance of qualifying for Europe. This club deserves to be in Europe because of its size. [LNB]'At the start of the season maybe we were aiming more for top ten, but now we should be going for Europe. We have definitely got a great chance and we are capable of it. I have been there before and it is so special playing against the best teams in Europe. It is a fantastic feeling and I would love to get back there with Sunderland.'[LNB]Injuries to Nedum Onuoha and John Mensah have forced Bruce to turn to his bargain summer signing from Wigan quicker than anticipated after his recovery from a knee injury.[LNB]And after a rather rusty return as a substitute against Blackpool, Bramble was back on form at the weekend.[LNB] On target: Darren Bent scores Sunderland's second goal en route to a 3-0 defeat of Blackburn [LNB]Bruce has never doubted Bramble's ability and, with Cattermole out for at least a month with his latest back problem, the Sunderland manager had no hesitation handing the armband to the defender. Bar one major blip on the ill-fated return to St James's Park when he was sent off, Bramble has more than answered his critics and he even earned a chorus from home fans on Saturday.[LNB]Bramble is happy with his form so far.[LNB]He added: 'I haven't trained too much and was out for six weeks so I was quite pleased. It was just great to be back and playing again.[LNB]'I feel fine, although my knee feels good and fitness wise it is going to take a few games.[LNB]'Captaining Sunderland was a great feeling for me especially as I have been out for a few games. It was a real honour.[LNB]'The fans have been great to me, even when I first signed. That is one of the reasons why I have been able to play some good football because I know they have backed me form day one. I try and let my football do the talking on the pitch, but I can't thank the fans enough.'[LNB] All the latest Premier League team news ahead of the midweek fixturesClub-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuarySunderland 3 Blackburn 0: Bruce's men win easily to move up to sixthBruce: I hate being called Fat Head but when under pressure I eat pork pies!Bruce hopeful of landing Downing with Johnson and N'Zogbia out of reachAll the latest Sunderland news, features and opinion[LNB][LNB]  Explore more:People: Titus Bramble, Steve Bruce, Lee Cattermole Places: Newcastle, Europe

Source: Daily_Mail