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Bruce warns promoted trio of slog ahead

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has warned Norwich counterpart Paul Lambert of the grind he is facing if he is to keep his club in the Premier League.

The two clubs meet at Carrow Road tonight, with the Black Cats having finally eased their way out of the lower reaches of the table with a 4-0 win over Stoke last Sunday, 24 hours after the promoted Canaries had collected their first three-point haul with a 2-1 victory at Bolton.

Indeed, all three top-flight newcomers were triumphant last weekend, with Swansea beating West Brom 3-0 and QPR returning from Wolves having scored three without reply.

The Baggies and Newcastle proved last season that it is possible for clubs to emerge from the Championship and survive, but having twice faced just that task with Birmingham, Bruce knows exactly what lies ahead for Lambert, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Warnock.

He said: "We saw the three promoted teams all win last weekend.

"QPR have now had two wins this season -- you probably need 10 to stay in the division, so they are on track.

"As we saw last year and the season before, the teams which come up, there's a euphoria in the ground. They haven't been there for a long time, so they cheer every throw-in, every free-kick, they cheer every decision.

"There's a feelgood factor around everybody because they haven't been in the Premier League for so long.


"When you get them early on, it's difficult. The task is, can they maintain it?

"We saw Blackpool last year play some great stuff. They went off like a house on fire up until Christmas, but then couldn't manage to sustain it, which was sad for them, but that's what the Premier League is.

"It's a tough, demanding league. We are only five games in and we have got a hell of a long way to go."

Bruce retains a genuine fondness for Norwich, having won his big move to Manchester United on the basis of what he achieved there as a player following his move from Gillingham.

He said: "I had a wonderful three years. They were the club that gave me my chance to go and play at the top level, Ken Brown, the manager and Mel Machin, the assistant manager, especially Mel."