Bruce issues derby warning
The Black Cats embark upon their derby revenge mission on Sunday as they attempt to make amends for their 5-1 drubbing in October by one team of Magpies, eight days after being humbled by another. League One Notts County headed for the Stadium of Light yesterday in hope rather than expectation as the FA Cup third round presented manager Paul Ince with an opportunity to get one over on former Manchester United team-mate Bruce. Ninety minutes later, Ince was celebrating a famous 2-1 victory secured with the minimum of fuss. Bruce, already hampered by a growing injury list, opted to leave Craig Gordon, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble, Jordan Henderson and Ahmed Elmohamady out of his starting XI. However, his understudies fluffed their lines spectacularly to slip out of a competition Bruce believed represented a genuine chance of glory. It will have been scant consolation to Bruce that Newcastle suffered an equally, if not more, embarrassing defeat at Stevenage hours later, and he is expecting a major response. He said: "We will be far, far different next week, far, far different. Certainly our mentality will be different, otherwise if it is not, then we will be in for a bad afternoon again. "We just played badly. We have got a team full of international footballers who looked way, way short of that, if I am being honest. "People who have played in quarter-finals of World Cups looked as if they were amateurs. "In fact, I could name on one hand the players who could say they did their job. There were far too many who weren't good enough." Sunderland could hardly have got off to a worse start as they fell behind within five minutes of the kick-off. There appeared to be little danger when Craig Westcarr helped on Ben Davies' left-wing cross, but under pressure from striker Lee Hughes, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and full-back Kieran Richardson collided and the Belgian dropped the ball into his own net. Mignolet appealed for a foul by Hughes, but referee Stuart Attwell was not interested. It might have been worse before the break had County skipper Mike Edwards found the target rather than firing just wide, or had Mignolet not got down well to keep out Westcarr's curling effort. But the second goal did arrive 15 minutes from time when 34-year-old Hughes cut a swathe through the home defence and, after having his initial shot blocked by Mignolet, reacted smartly as the ball was headed back towards him to score from a tight angle. Bruce had earlier introduced Henderson and Elmohamady against his better judgement and that belatedly sparked his side into life, but Darren Bent's 81st-minute penalty - awarded for a trip by Ricky Ravenhill on Andy Reid - was their only reward. Richardson said: "In the changing room the gaffer spoke his mind and we got the fully-deserved rollicking that we needed. "Everyone in that changing room was very upset. It's a massive competition and we are out in the third round, which is devastating."