Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Ready for First Taste of the Derby; Bruce Ready for First Taste of Derby

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce Ready for First Taste of the Derby; Bruce Ready for First Taste of Derby

Article excerpt

ALMOST 18 months into his career as Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce will experience his first Tyne-Wear derby, and believes the wait will have done his team good, writes STUART RAYNER.

As they demonstrated on Saturday, the Black Cats have improved greatly since last season, when Newcastle United's relegation kept the old rivals apart.

Sunderland extended their unbeaten sequence to seven Premier League matches but a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, after Richard Dunne's first-half own goal, was their first since August.

It ensured Bruce goes into his first Tyne-Wear derby in any capacity with confidence.

"I have a good feeling about this mob I have got now," he said.

"Last year I don't think we would have won that (game against Villa). We have resilience now."

Bruce (far left) acknowledged the hurdle from being difficult to beat to winning was crucial for his team to clear.

"It was important to get three points," he argued. "I think it is ten years since we went seven games unbeaten in the Premier League, but you need the win to make sure you know you are capable of it.

"Probably the last 20-25 minutes was the worst we have played in the last six weeks tactically. We needed to show resilience to get the win. The mentality of the players has changed, the individuals don't give it up. That was our Achilles heel. We look like we are on the right lines. "The one thing we needed this summer, you can't play in the Premier League being brittle and we were. We conceded too easily. "We have kept three clean sheets on the trot and five all season. That is a terrific achievement no matter who you have played. "It is down to Titus (Bramble), the goalkeeper (Simon Mignolet), all of them. The shape of the team as well has been important." The boyhood Newcastle fan is making a conscious effort to downplay this Sunday's encounter. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.