Bruce: Fergie won't expect any favours
Ferguson's Manchester United side head for the Stadium of Light knowing nothing less than a victory will keep their Premier League title hopes alive if Chelsea have won at Liverpool earlier in the day. It will be the third successive season that the former Wigan boss has taken charge of a side which has faced United as the race for silverware has reached crunch-point. And, having worked so closely with Ferguson as he laid the foundations for his Old Trafford dynasty, Bruce knows exactly what he will be saying to his players. "Win, that's all, like he normally does," said Bruce. "He has been there and worn the t-shirt. He has vast experience with it. "But even when I go back years and years and years ago, he was still very, very calm around them. "They will perform, because they have done now for years and they are used to performing. "The result against Manchester City is typical of them now. If anyone was to get a result in the last minute, you would back Manchester United to do it. "That stems from the manager himself. He has got this unbelievable desire to win which transmits to his team, and it has done now for 20-odd years. "It's no fluke what he does. He works and, whatever you say about him, he has still got a wonderful humility about him that makes him a bit special. "After working with him, he will not expect any favours - he knows that's not in the remit at all. He will be expecting our team to perform and play well." United will arrive at the Stadium of Light trailing leaders Chelsea by a point and knowing their title hopes will be extinguished if the Blues win at Anfield and they lose on Wearside, as they so nearly did to Bruce's men on their own park back in October when Anton Ferdinand's late own goal snatched a face-saving point. But a win at Sunderland would ensure the trophy's destination would be decided on the final day of the campaign with United hoping to have to make space in their cabinet once again for a piece of silverware which has been a regular visitor since the current Black Cats boss helped to end their long wait back in 1993. Bruce said: "In 1993, it was the first time they had won the league for 26 years - when you think about it now, it's unthinkable, isn't it? "You think, 'How the hell is that possible?'. What is it, 10 times since? It's a quite incredible record and quite an unbelievable achievement. "It's still all to play for and the one thing for certain is we will have to be at our best, because they will be. It's quite simple." However, Bruce believes Sunday would be even more dramatic if the two big games had kicked off together, rather than a couple of hours apart. He said: "It's a huge weekend. It's unfortunate for the spectacle because I believe the two games should kick off together. "In the light of what's happening with two games to go, I would have thought they would have kicked off both together, but it's not to be."