Cats boss demanding six from six

Cats boss demanding six from six

Published Feb. 25, 2010 2:54 p.m. ET

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is targeting back-to-back victories over Fulham and Bolton to re-ignite the club's Premier League campaign.

The Black Cats are without a league win in 13 attempts and have slipped to within three points of the relegation zone as a result.

But they now head into a run of four successive fixtures at the Stadium of Light - against Fulham on Sunday and then Bolton, Manchester City and Birmingham - which could decide the ultimate outcome of a difficult campaign one way or the other.

For that reason, a double over Fulham and Bolton could prove invaluable.

Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "The challenge we have got to set ourselves is winning the next two games - the matches against Fulham and Bolton.

"Back-to-back victories at this stage of the season are massive and that's what I'm asking of my players.

"There's absolutely no reason why we can't do it - and if we do that, then everything starts to turn around very quickly again.

"I am still quietly optimistic that we are going to turn things and start climbing the table again.

"And for that reason, yes, I am conscious of the results of the likes of Bolton, Wigan and Wolves below us, but I'm also watching the likes of Stoke, Blackburn and Fulham because those are the clubs we have to have in our sights over the next few weeks."

Sunderland last won a league game on November 21, when they beat Arsenal, and it was the Gunners who extended their winless run to 13 at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

However, Bruce is confident his side can drag themselves out of trouble.

He said: "Although this long run [13 games] without a win might have sapped some confidence on the pitch and some optimism off it, we have got to remind ourselves that we are more than capable of winning both matches.

"I have reminded the players this week that they have been very good at home this season.

"We have only lost to Chelsea and Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light and along the way, we have got victories over the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

"And I'm not just talking about our good home form - we have only lost one game in four, we have only conceded four goals in our last four games, which includes last week's game against Arsenal at the Emirates."