STEVE Bruce’s Tyneside roots may have contributed to his sacking by Sunderland, says his old Manchester United mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.
A gritty, but ultimately pointless, performance at Old Trafford was one of Sunderland’s last under Bruce before he was fired this week after 30 months in charge.
Sunderland lost at home to Newcastle early in the campaign and Bruce’s Geordie background was used against him by the Black Cats’ fans after last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Wigan.
Ferguson said: “Fans just don’t have the patience any longer - just see what happened to Steve Bruce up in the North East, where being a Geordie didn’t help him.
“In that part of the world they are so passionate and committed to their football team.
“I think Brucie has suffered because of that but that’s the kind of supporters we have these days - no patience.
“He rebuilt a whole team and that requires a bit of patience from everyone, including Steve. I think Steve was realising that himself that he was going to have to wait.
“There was a complete turnaround in the summer, they lost a few players - the boy (Jordan) Henderson, the boy (Asamoah) Gyan, Anton Ferdinand, and you need that time.
“I think losing to Newcastle earlier on in the season didn’t help him either because of the way they are in that part of the world but he will be back, Steve. In general his managerial record is very good.”
Martin O’Neill is expected to be named as Bruce’s successor and Ferguson added: “Martin has a very good track record.
“The job he did at Villa Park was excellent, he did a great job at Celtic, he won the League Cup with Leicester so Martin has got the experience and track record to do well.
“If that’s the job he’s going to I’m sure he will do well.”
Earlier, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioned Bruce’s dismisal.
He told his club’s website: “I think it is a mistake because the one to question at Sunderland is certainly not Steve Bruce.”