Tuesday 16 January 2018

Yet another Red Devil reverse for 'naive' Bruce

Sam Wallace

Steve Bruce is still waiting for his first victory over Alex Ferguson in 17 games and the Sunderland manager admitted yesterday, following his side's 2-0 defeat, that he was "naive" to pick such an open, attacking team at Old Trafford.

Bruce, without seven first team players for the game against Manchester United, said that he had little choice but to pick a side with two wingers and two strikers. "Maybe I was a bit naive to think we could do it, but, to be fair, I didn't have much choice," he said.

"We were so open with two out-and-out wide players and two out-and-out attackers, but with the sickness and injuries in the squad there was not much we could do about it. When we beat Chelsea (at Stamford Bridge) we had a full team."

Bruce, whose team host Blackpool tomorrow, will have the United loan signing Danny Welbeck (ineligible yesterday) and Lee Cattermole back from suspension, as well as Kieran Richardson and Titus Bramble in contention.

Ferguson blamed his team for putting down their tools in the second half after a pulsating opening 20 minutes in which they dominated Sunderland.

"It was a comfortable performance. The first half was absolutely fantastic and we could have scored many more," he said.

"In the second half we maybe put the tools away a little bit and saved ourselves. We knew the Birmingham game (against Everton) was off and we play them (tomorrow). We were economical. I think we have come into form in the last few weeks. There has been some good stuff.

"There was consistency, particularly with the defending, and that is a good sign." (© Indep-endent News Service)

Irish Independent

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