Steve Bruce remains optimistic about Sunderland future


Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is confident the tide will turn for his players as they attempt to start their season in earnest.

The Black Cats face Bruce's former club Wigan at the Stadium of Light on Saturday desperately needing a win to drag themselves away from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League table.

Sunderland have won only two of their 12 league games to date in the current campaign on their way to a points total of just 11, and the manager knows that will have to improve significantly if they are to build upon last season's top-10 finish.

However, Bruce believes the foundations are in place and insists he has not had to reassure his players of that after a less than impressive start.

He said: "I think they know. I only think we have played badly once, which was Norwich.

"In the games we have played, we have shown a bit of character and something about us.

"We gave a great account of ourselves at Anfield, we did well at the Emirates, we did very well at Old Trafford, where we could have picked up something.

"But the way we have played has encouraged me to say we are not far short. It will take a little bit of time."

The key to any side's hopes rests largely with their home form, and that is something which has deserted the Black Cats in 2011.

Since they beat Blackburn 3-0 on Wearside on New Year's Day, they have won only twice in 14 league games on their own turf and were also knocked out of last season's FA Cup by Notts County.

Sunderland were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light by Fulham last Saturday when only the woodwork and a superb late save by keeper Mark Schwarzer denied them the victory they craved.

However, Bruce is adamant that the relative lack of success at home is not preying on the minds of his players.

He said: "It's not psychological, certainly not. We have lost two at home [this season], and one of those was against Chelsea.

"We must improve on it, it can get better and if we have a really good home performance, I think that will just settle everybody down.

"Since the turn of the year, the home form has been disappointing, there's no disputing that.

"The one thing you need is to play well in front of your home supporters, but I think the vast majority can see what we are trying to do and see that we are improving."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen