Bruce not expecting same again

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

The Black Cats' stunning 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge in November was a watershed moment for both teams, with Sunderland putting behind them a 5-1 derby defeat by Newcastle while for Chelsea it was the start of a run of only one win in nine league games. Carlo Ancelotti's team duly plummeted from top spot to outside the Champions League places, losing to the likes of Birmingham and Wolves. But since thrashing Ipswich 7-0 in the FA Cup third round earlier this month, Chelsea have found their form again, hitting six goals without reply in wins over Blackburn and Bolton, and Sunderland boss Bruce is under no illusions how tough his side's task will be. Looking back to that famous day at Stamford Bridge, he said: "Considering it was two weeks after the debacle at Newcastle, it was certainly the best result I've had at Chelsea and arguably the best result this club has had for a long, long time. "But when I saw Chelsea last week they were being Chelsea again. They were fantastic against Bolton, they really looked formidable, back to where Chelsea can be, so make no mistake we'll have to be at our best, but if we're at our best then we'll give them a game." With a 10-point gap to make up on Manchester United, Chelsea look outsiders to retain their title, but they made a real statement of intent yesterday with the £50million signing of Fernando Torres from Liverpool. Bruce continued: "Just when everyone's probably questioning Chelsea and Mr Abramovich, they go and get a fantastic striker. It looks as if it's the start of maybe rebuilding Chelsea, if that's what they need. It is some crazy prices but that's what it is, in the biggest and best league in the world." Torres will not be in the Chelsea side tonight so the only new signing on display looks set to be Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon, who joined the Black Cats from Paris St Germain at the weekend. Bruce confirmed the playmaker will be involved at some stage, and he expects the Stadium of Light to warm quickly to the 26-year-old Benin international "He's certainly different," added the Black Cats boss. "He's lightning quick, he's a small, powerfully-built young lad who I think will be a crowd favourite because of his dynamism. He's exciting and he'll get people off their seats, and his versatility will add something to us as well." The player himself insists he had no doubts about swapping Paris for the north east, saying: "Sunderland is the place I wanted to be even though there were other teams interested. "I can't wait to start in the Premier League. It has been my dream for years. The Premier League is the best league to play in." Of the prospect of facing Chelsea on his debut, Sessegnon added: "It will be a tough game but if we have the ambition to play European football, we will have to compete against that kind of team." Meanwhile, goalkeepers Craig Gordon and Petr Cech will wear black armbands in memory of former Black Cats stopper Jimmy Thorpe, who died at the age of 22 from injuries received in a game between Sunderland and Chelsea 75 years ago.


share story