Riots should not disrupt football says Steve Bruce

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The Independent Football

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is hoping rioters will not ruin the start of the new Barclays Premier League season.

The Black Cats are due to launch their campaign at Liverpool, one of the cities affected by trouble earlier this week, on Saturday.

With the match between Tottenham and Everton already postponed, it remains to be seen to what extent the weekend's programme will be affected by the disorder.

Bruce said: "I think I stand for the whole of the country. We are outraged and shocked by what we have seen.

"I hope the Premier League can get started. In my opinion, it would be wrong to let these idiots and thugs who are doing what they are doing disrupt everything.

"We will be guided by the authorities, but I echo what most people think and what most people are saying.

"I am saddened and shocked that our country could come to something like that."

If Sunderland's game at Anfield does go ahead, new signing John O'Shea is unlikely to feature in it as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury picked up in pre-season.

Bruce said: "I would think he is doubtful and with the players we have got at the moment and with what happened last year, we are not going to rush anybody back.

"He's progressing well, he is up and looking to join in training either today or tomorrow, but I think the weekend will be too quick for him."