Tuesday 20 March 2018

Bruce gets out of jail

Damien Spellman

Ahmed Elmohamady's first goal for Sunderland spared Steve Bruce a mauling as the Black Cats pulled off a timely rescue job after a difficult week.

The 50-year-old was firmly in the firing line after his side conceded twice within a catastrophic opening five minutes as James Morrison and then Shane Long got West Brom off to a dream start.

But as a chorus of "Bruce out" rang around the Stadium of Light, his players responded to drag themselves back from the brink of disaster. Nicklas Bendtner gave them hope with a 24th-minute strike, his first for the club, and Elmohamady followed suit within two minutes in a chaotic first half.

A rejuvenated Sunderland enjoyed the better of the game from that point on, but had to make do with a point on a day when three were perhaps what was required.

Both sides have now won just one of their seven Premier League games to date, and while there was a certain degree of relief among the home sections of a crowd of 34,815, there was a realisation too that things must improve markedly if they are to achieve their ambitions.

Bruce went into the game having endured the kind of week which is the stuff of nightmares for a football manager.

A poor display at Norwich on Monday ended in a 2-1 defeat which piled the pressure back on the manager, and the fall-out from defender Titus Bramble's arrest over allegations of sexual assault and drug possession 24 hours later did little to ease his pain.

Sunday Indo Sport

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