Bruce sacked: Sunderland legend Hurley fears geography will again be against the Black Cats

Charlie Hurley
Charlie Hurley
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BLACK Cats’ legend Charlie Hurley has said Sunderland is a “fantastic club” and top players and managers have to overcome their prejudices about the North East.

The former central defender, dubbed Sunderland’s “Player of the Century” by fans, said his old team would struggle to get the new boss they deserved because the region remained an unpopular place for players and managers to relocate.

He said: “Sunderland always had trouble getting people to move there, especially from down south – but I don’t know why because Sunderland is a fantastic club. If you do well at Sunderland, you will never be forgotten.

“I moved up, and at first I thought ‘am I making the right move?’ But at the end of the day it was the best thing I ever did.”

The former Republic of Ireland international, whose Sunderland career spanned 12 seasons and 402 appearances, said Martin O’Neill would be “not so bad” a choice for new manager at Sunderland.

“The King” Hurley added he was surprised to see Steve Bruce go as soon as he did.

He said: “I thought he had a bit of time before Christmas. I thought they would give him until the new year and he had some winning to do.”