Bruce heaps praise on brilliant Bent
Steve Bruce heaped praise on Darren Bent after his second-half
double earned Sunderland a 2-2 draw after a grandstand finish at
Bent’s brace took his Premier League total to 13 this season
and Bruce said the striker’s tally was rich reward for the attitude
he has shown since his move from Tottenham.
Bruce said: “Darren has done terrifically well and he has
been a breath of fresh air.
“He has wanted to play for us since the day we signed him.
“Darren has never groaned about the geography of where he’s
come and he has had a wonderful start.
“Obviously now we need to help him out a little bit but he
has had a wonderful start.”
But Bruce was left breathing a sigh of relief after his
injury-hit side were twice pulled back level then survived a mighty
scare when Chris Samba somehow poked a last-gasp rebound wide after
Marton Fulop had brilliantly parried a point-blank header from
Bruce added: “We’ve deserved our bit of luck. The keeper’s
made a hell of a save and it (Samba’s miss) will probably be on
Christmas videos for the next 10 years.
“It would have been harsh on us because of the problems we’ve
got and the teams we’ve had to field.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t hold on to our leads but pleased
we’ve come away with a point.”
While Bruce joked about the first half being “the worst game
of football I’ve ever witnessed”, his counterpart Sam Allardyce
sang the praises of his three late substitutes.
El-Hadji Diouf snatched the late equaliser while both Franco
di Santo and Kalinic had fine chances to snatch a dramatic winner
in the dying minutes. Allardyce said: “Dioufy took his goal really
well but we haven’t played well and it’s disappointing that when
we’re scoring at home it’s to get back in a game rather than win
“It was a good show of character from the players but while I
would have liked to have finished 2009 with a victory I have to be
satisfied the way the game panned out.”
Meanwhile, Allardyce admitted casting envious glances over at
13-goal striker Bent as his own strike-force continue to fail to
find any kind of consistency. Allardyce said: “If we had a 13-goal
striker like they have we’d probably be sitting in eighth place in
the league looking down on the rest of them.
“Too many of our players haven’t lived up to their
reputations regularly enough and that has been a problem that has
caused us to stumble in a part of the season when I thought we’d