Bruce hopes to continue bright start

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Liverpool, which came a week after Arsenal

left the Stadium of Light with just a point to show for their

efforts, saw the Black Cats safely negotiate the second of three

intensely difficult games. The midweek Carling Cup exit at the

hands of West Ham and a sub-standard display in defeat at West Brom

last month apart, Bruce has been hugely encouraged by the way his

side has coped with a tough set of fixtures during the opening

weeks of the campaign. He said: “It couldn’t have been an any

harder start. When I looked and saw we had Manchester City,

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United – it doesn’t come any harder,

does it, at the start of the season? “However, if we can come out

and nick a few more points, then it will have been a decent start.

I think we have played very well this year up to now – there is

only really West Brom where we have let ourselves down. “We played

particularly well at home to Birmingham and at Wigan with 10 men,

so the signs are looking okay.”