Bruce keen to end on a high
The Black Cats climbed into the top half of the table as a result of their 1-0 win at Hull last Saturday, but Blackburn are hot on their heels and Fulham and Stoke each have a game in hand and are only a point worse off. With just United to come at the Stadium of Light tomorrow ahead of their final-day trip to Wolves, the Black Cats face a tough task if they are to hang on to 10th place - their stated aim before the campaign got under way. That would be a significant achievement for a club which has rebounded between the top two divisions for much of its recent history with the noted exception of the relative success it enjoyed at the height of Peter Reid's reign as manager. Bruce said: "For weeks now, we have been trying to look upwards a little bit and say, 'Where can we finish?' "You take Peter Reid's two sevenths out of the equation and it's the highest the club has finished for 50 years, so it's quite an unbelievable situation to be in. "We want to finish the season as best we can. If you can finish two or three places higher, it pays the salary of a player for another year. "In that respect, we will try our utmost. It's important." Sunderland are approaching the United game with some relish after rekindling their season with a run of nine matches which has brought just two defeats - a massive improvement on the 14-game sequence without a league win which threatened to plunge them into the battle for Premier League survival. The belief which saw them defeat both Liverpool and Arsenal on Wearside before their mid-season slump and then Tottenham after it has returned, and the club's fans will arrive confident their team will push United all the way as they attempt to take the title race to the final day of the season. Bruce said: "The home fans have been terrific all season. They have come in their thousands. "A number of them now who are absolutely delirious because we are in mid-table obscurity, but they are delighted because of what has been in the past. "They will enjoy the occasion, they will enjoy the match. I just hope we can go and perform. We are playing very well lately, especially at home. "Bring it on. "Manchester United coming to town, whether you are Sunderland, Scunthorpe or Sheffield, it's usually the biggest occasion in the calendar for you, and we are no different. "You can't get a ticket, you can't buy a bit of corporate hospitality, we have got marquees in the car park - if there is ever an incentive to go an enjoy the match, then bring it on. It's what it's all about."