Bruce focused on crunch schedule

The Black Cats have lost five of their 11 Premier League games to

date but none of them by more than one goal. Having already faced

the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and

high-flying derby rivals Newcastle, they now have a potentially

less taxing run of games starting with a double-header at the

Stadium of Light against Fulham and Wigan. Bruce said: “If you look

at our goals for, we are in the top six in the division; if you

look at our goals against, we are in the top six. It’s been close

in every game we have played. It’s been the odd goal, so it could

quite easily have been another three, four points our way, which

takes us into the top 10 and where you want to be. “It’s hasn’t

been that but there’s certainly a resilience there which is

starting to show and with all the upheaval we have had during the

summer, the longer it goes, the better. “No disrespect to Fulham

and Wigan and Wolves and Blackburn, we have got all of them on the

horizon to play and then there’s a huge December where you have got

probably seven or eight games to play within four or five weeks,

which will be the ultimate decider, for me, in the league. That’s

when it starts taking some shape.”