Bruce questions summer of change

Bruce has drafted in eight men to date – Titus Bramble, Cristian

Riveros, Simon Mignolet and Marcos Angeleri, as well as loan

signings Ahmed Elmohamady, John Mensah, Danny Welbeck and Nedum

Onouha – and is still in the market for two more, while around 25

players have headed through the exit door since his arrival on

Wearside. However, after a disappointing start to the new Premier

League campaign, which has seen the Black Cats take just a single

point from clashes with Birmingham and promoted West Brom, the

manager has admitted it will take time for his new boys to bed in.

Bruce said: “We have done a lot – probably too much again – and

when you do make a lot of changes, like Saturday for example,

people like Simon Mignolet and Cristian Riveros and Ahmed

Elmohamady, the one thing they all need is time. “We have sort of

thrown them in at the deep end because of necessity, and that’s

maybe a bit unfair on them. “Every time when you go away and bring

a player in from abroad, you must do one thing, give them time.

Wilson Palacios, for example, was six months, Maynor Figueroa was

12 months before I put him in. “You have got to give them time to

adjust. I noticed on Saturday Cristian Riveros scratching his head

and thinking, ‘Wow, I have never been kicked around like that

before’ – and that’s by West Brom, who, no disrespect, are one of

the less physical teams in the division. “But he will learn from it

and given time, he will adjust.” Bruce is yet to replace striker

Kenwyne Jones following his £8million switch to Stoke, and

while the club is actively pursuing targets, he insists nothing is

close to completion. He said: “I would love to bring in a couple of

players, as I have said before. Whether that’s possible, I’m still

not quite sure. “We have got a couple of irons in the fire. We hope

we can pull them off – it would be nice to if we possibly can, but

at this moment, we haven’t got anything imminent.” Sunderland will

hope to register their first win of the campaign when they

entertain League One Colchester in the Carling Cup second round on

Tuesday evening. Michael Turner and Lee Cattermole are available

after suspension, while Andy Reid and Anton Ferdinand could return

from injury. They would do so with their manager still reflecting

on a disappointing 1-0 defeat at West Brom which highlighted once

again the club’s dismal run of results on the road which has seen

them win just 10 times in their last six top-flight seasons. Bruce

said: “I am looking at our club here, a big club like it is, and we

have won 10 times away from home in the last six years. That’s how

difficult it is. “But we are not alone. I saw Fulham’s stats,

Blackburn’s stats away from home – it is difficult and that’s the

division we are in.” Bruce is hoping a win on Tuesday night will

belatedly kick-start a season during which the Carling Cup will be

a priority. He said: “I have always said since I came here, it is

going to be very difficult for us to win the Premier League, but

the one thing we are capable of is winning a cup because you only

have to win five or six games – as long as they are not away from

home!”