From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Bruce’s Battle

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“Everyone’s behind the manager” came the rallying cry from Lee Cattermole when talking about Steve Bruce’s job at Sunderland.

When any team is failing to win for any period of time, all eyes turn to the manager to try and steady the ship. 13 games have passed since Sunderland last registered a win, and Steve Bruce will see their position of 14th, but only 3 points above the relegation zone, as precarious.

Although the bottom of the league is looking incredibly tight, one more loss for Sunderland will leave them increasingly vulnerable, and staring atleast a season in the Championship square in the face.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Bruce has tasted relegation, after relegation with Birmingham after four seasons in the Premier League. He did however seem to have the answers when he got them promotion at the first time of asking with promotion in 2006.

It seems as if history is repeating itself though. With a struggling team and a slide down the Premier League, everyone at Tyneside is looking towards Bruce to inspire these players to drag them out of the relegation struggle and to lead them to a comfortable mid table finish.

Looking at their squad, you would not immediately believe them to be relegation contenders. Players of the calibre of Darren Bent do not scream relegation fodder. With the league as tight as it is though, especially at the bottom, it doesn’t matter who your players are when you are trying to desperately grind out results and keep one foot out of the championship.

This weekend Sunderland face Fulham this weekend. Fulham beat Birmingham last weekend, and are on an outside push for a European place once again this season. The test of Sunderland will be in their next 3 matches, Fulham at home, Villa away and then Bolton and home. Fulham and Villa are gunning for all the points they can, but a win against either of them would boost Sunderland’s morale and push them for a top half finish. A loss against these two teams would leave Sunderland under massive pressure to beat fellow strugglers Bolton, and whenever there is greater pressure placed on a match, there always seems more of a likely hood to lose.

Bruce has 3 weekends to decide Sunderland’s season. Pick up four points and I’d assume they’d probably be ok and looking at another season in the Premier League. If not, they’ll be swapping places with their fierce rivals Newcastle, and looking at battling in any ever increasingly competitive Championship.

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Written by Nicole Carroll

February 26, 2010 at 12:54 am

One Response

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  1. like you said, just because you have good players in the team doesnt mean you have a right to play well and win, Leeds had a quality team n look at what happened to them. i agree with what your sayin, everybody in the bottom 8 need to win its as simple as that. pompy are a certain to go down, i think we might find out who the other two are in the next few weeks

    Will Fazack

    February 26, 2010 at 1:08 am


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