Steve Bruce urges Nicklas Bendtner to be more selfish

 

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has ordered striker Nicklas Bendtner to develop a selfish streak to fire the club out of relegation trouble.

The 23-year-old Denmark international has enjoyed an impressive opening to his season-long loan spell at the Stadium of Light from Arsenal, but has managed just two goals in eight starts to date.

Bendtner this week refused to rule out a permanent move to Wearside, but Bruce, while delighted with his contribution so far, is keen to see the striker start thinking more about himself than the team.

He said: "He's such a good footballer. His link-up play is excellent and he drifts into wide areas terrifically well. He is very comfortable.

"But he needs to be a bit more selfish and go and play for himself.

"Goalscorers are usually selfish. They are not bothered, they just want to score a goal and that's all they are interested in.

"Strikers are judged by goals. You can be a good player, a very good player, but you are judged by goals, so we have got to try to change Nick's mentality slightly to get him into that and score more goals.

"Nick has got to try to get that mentality if he can.

"He is very, very capable - he has got five in five for his country - so we need him to go and score a few for us if he can."

Bruce's desperation is understandable with the Black Cats having scored just 14 Barclays Premier League goals to date this season, a return which has helped leave them in 15th place ahead of tomorrow's home clash with bottom-of-the-table Wigan.

They sit just two points clear of the drop zone and alarmingly, have won only two of their last 14 league games on Wearside with the Latics one of their victims in April.

However, Bruce laughed off suggestions that the meeting with his former club could represent a pivotal point in his reign.

He said: "Listen, it's a big game, it's a big game, but I have played in big games, I have managed big games.

"If we win it, we go into the top 10, probably, and what's all the fuss about?

"If we lose it - I don't contemplate that. I know we are capable of winning it, but it won't be easy.

"We must have a bit of patience, a bit of bottle and a bit of guile and win the match. It's as simple as that.

"I am not even going to contemplate that we are relegation contenders. In my opinion, we have never been close to it for the past two years.

"We finished 13th in our first year and 10th last year. I am always looking up."

Tomorrow's game comes at the end of a week during which Wigan chairman Dave Whelan indicated that he could step down and hand the reins to his grandson David, and Bruce, who had two spells as his manager, paid tribute to his achievements.

He said: "I don't think it will ever be repeated, what Dave Whelan has achieved at Wigan.

"It's quite remarkable, somebody from the town taking them from non-league to the Premier League and staying there for eight years and taking them to cup finals - it's a quite remarkable, remarkable story.

"I have had the pleasure of managing the club twice. It's a great little club which manages in adversity year after year after year, but does it very well.

"If it's time for him to step down, then I wish him a very, very good retirement because he certainly deserves it."

PA

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all