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Sunderland Preview: Steve Bruce


15:19 7th February 2014

Steve Bruce admits teams are now arriving in the period of the season when every game is huge.

Bruce takes his Hull City team to his former club Sunderland on Saturday for a game that will see two teams level on points do battle at the Stadium of Light and the manager believes that a positive result would be ‘huge’ for his side.

“All games start to be huge now, especially down at the bottom end of the table,” said Bruce.

“I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like this when ten teams are separated by four or five points – it’s quite unbelievable at this stage of the season.

“Every time you play against a team in the bottom half, or pick up a win in the bottom half it’s going to be huge for you because not everybody can win.

“We got our points’ total moving again last weekend and if we can pick something up away from home at any ground we go to, then it’s a good result.”

The Tigers will be coming up against a Sunderland side in good form and high on confidence and Bruce knows to expect a tough game.

“You have to be fair to Gus Poyet, he’s done a fantastic job in difficult circumstances,” added Bruce.

“They’ve got to a cup final and gone from bottom of the league to near midway. They’ve had a hell of a run and they’re probably the form team in the bottom half of the division.

“We know what to expect. It’s going to be a big game and a big occasion for both sides. Both teams will be looking at this one and thinking ‘we’ve got a chance to get a win here’. We know if we play well we can take something from it.

“It’s going to be difficult because they’re playing well, but we look forward to the challenge.”

Bruce has played down the fact that this will be his first visit to the Stadium of Light since being sacked as Sunderland manager in 2011, but has a fair idea of the reception he will receive from the Wearside supporters.

“I’m sure I’ll get a lovely, nice, warm reception. It’ll be one to behold!” said Bruce with a wry smile.

“I haven’t been back there since I left and for me, that time has gone now.”

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