Steve Bruce will need to improve Sunderland’s defense

Steve Bruce can rest easy coaching Sunderland because the club that he grew up worshiping is no longer in the Premiership. There will be no matches with Newcastle and its fans who will call Bruce out. What about the suspicions that Black Cat fans may have?
“I think they like one of their own from the north east,” … “It’s results on the pitch that matter. I hope I can win over the few doubters I have. The vast majority of what I’ve seen is positive”
The one thing Bruce can do is improve defense which he did at Wigan and at Birmingham. The Latics scored 34 goals same as the Black Cats but by conceding 9 goals less, they climbed to 11th position. In contrast, the Black Cats were porous at the back conceding 54 goals which included a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea.
Bruce might want to get Darren Bent to shift the attack another notch but it is the defense which needs his attention. Danny Collins is the only consistent performer. The others including Paul McShane, Anton Ferdinand, Phil Bardsley, and Calum Davenport were not quite upto the task. Their weaknesses were on display against a 0-3 loss to West Brom which almost derailed their promotion hopes.
Bruce will also have to resolve a goal keeping issue. Craig Gordon, Sunderland’s expensive first choice goalie is in a sticky duel with back up Marton Fulop and lost his position due to injuries and poor form. Gordon’s rehabilitation is to continue this summer as he re-aggravated an ankle injury and might have also suffered knee cartilage damage which requires surgery.

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