STEVE Bruce has pleaded with all Sunderland fans to get behind the team tomorrow as he looks to do his level best to kick-start the club’s season with a win over Stoke City.
The Black Cats boss acknowledged that the team has made an indifferent start to the season and not given supporters much to cheer about so far.
But he says the squad is good enough to turn things around quickly and things will be made easier for everyone at the club if the fans stick with them.
He told the Echo: “Home advantage this weekend is one of the biggest things in our favour.
“Stoke are a good side but they’ve had a reputation as a team that doesn’t travel particularly well and of course we’re also aware that they’ve had a midweek trip to Kiev to contend with in the Europa League.
“It might work in our favour, it might not.
“But to make the most of that home advantage.
“We’ve got to play confidently as a side and believe in ourselves and we need the fans to do their best to make it as difficult as possible for the visiting team with the noise and support they generate.
“It’s been a difficult start but no more than that and if we stick together we can turn it around.” Many fans have been unhappy with and frustrated by Sunderland’s ropey start to the new campaign and Bruce has been at the sharp end of it and under increasing pressure.
But he remains confident that the club can turn things around, possibly very quickly.
“Look, we’re only four games into the season and we’ve only lost two of them.
“The results haven’t been great but I know that with the new players we’ve brought in and the nucleus of the squad we had last season we can go to a successful season. We just have to keep believing in ourselves.
“People talk about me being under pressure but all Premier League managers are under pressure all the time.
“I’ve been in this job now for over 10 years and I can tell you that if you can’t handle pressure, you better not be a Premier League manager.
“You’ve got to accept it, get on with it and handle whatever comes you way with as much dignity and integrity as you can.
“But I know that with the players we’ve added to the squad we are going to be stronger this season and just one or two decent results will start turning things the other way.”