FORMER Sunderland manager Steve Bruce hopes the reception Sunderland fans give him at Hull today will not be as bad as the one which was ringing in his ears after a home defeat to Wigan ended his time as Black Cats boss after two-and-a-half years.
And he believes that history will eventually show that despite the anger which poured down from the terraces in that game at the Stadium of Light in November, 2011, he brought good players and some good times to the Stadium of Light.
“What sort of reception will I get from Sunderland fans?” he mused. “I wouldn’t think it will be warm, put it that way.
“They might reflect and think ‘you know something, he didn’t do a bad job after all’ maybe. I’ll let them judge.
“I had Darren Bent, Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell as my four main strikers at the club at one point.
“I don’t think any other manager will be afforded that again.
“When I lost that four in six months, I was out the door eight weeks later.
“We didn’t really recover from losing those four.
“Welbeck went back to Man U, Fraizer got injured and we sold Bent and Gyan.”
Bruce has always maintained since his sacking that his Geordie roots counted against him at Sunderland.
But the reality is that poor signings in the summer, coupled with lacklustre performances and bad results counted for him in the end.
He has a point though about losing out on an impressive strike quartet.
There was nothing he could do about United recalling Welbeck or Gyan opting to accept a mega-money money to the Gulf.
The rot though arguably set in when Darren Bent departed and Bruce has admitted that he would have liked to have seen the Black Cats give in to the striker’s increased wage demands rather than allowing him to go to Aston Villa.
He also had a point when he pointed out that the £24m the club raked in from the sale of the England striker was not made available to him that summer.