Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How We React Now Is Crucial - Bruce

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How We React Now Is Crucial - Bruce

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HUNTER

STEVE BRUCE insists his side faces a huge character test in their wake of their Tyne-Wear derby trouncing.

The 10-man Black Cats were demolished 5-1 by Newcastle at St James' Park - their biggest derby defeat for 55 years.

A shell-shocked Bruce made no excuses for the dismal showing, took full responsibility for the defeat and apologised to the fans.

The Sunderland boss knows his side let themselves down badly on Tyneside, but says it is how they respond to this devastating setback that now matters most.

"All we can do is apologise," said Bruce.

"I've got no complaints. We have to take our medicine.

"I could try and make excuses, but I'm not looking for them.

"As the manager, I take full responsibility. "To get beaten as badly as that, here of all places, will take a lot of recovering from.

"But the mark of any team, or individual, is how you respond to things.

"I've been beaten badly before, and the one thing you have to do after a result like this is to come out and show what you are made of.

"We're going to have to recover as a group and come out fighting against Stoke at the Stadium of Light on Saturday." Sunderland's seven-game unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt as they were played off the park by Newcastle.

And although the Black Cats went into the game with the second-best defensive record in the top flight with only seven goals conceded, they went on to concede almost as many in 90 minutes as in the previous nine games.

With the score at 3-0, Sunderland had former Newcastle man Titus Bramble sent off for a professional foul early in the second half which means he will miss the next two games - against Stoke at home and the trip to Spurs - through suspension.

Bruce said: "In my experience, when you're losing 3-0 at half-time in the Premier League, it's very rare that you can come back from that - let alone when you go down to 10 men.

"You've got a mountain to climb. …

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