Steve Bruce: Keep up fine away form

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SUNDERLAND go into tonight’s game against Norwich City looking to improve further on a recent away record which is as good as any side in the division.

And Steve Bruce says that he is likely to stick with the same side that beat Stoke City 4-0 last time out, as he aims to secure the club’s first back-to-back victories since January, when Sunderland beat Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa.

Sunderland won their last two away games of last season, beating Bolton Wanderers and West Ham and have got two away draws under their belt this season with points taken from the Liverpool and Swansea games.

Bruce told the Echo: “There’s been a lot of focus on our home form and I was glad to get the win over Stoke last weekend, not least because it’s important we improve it and start making the Stadium of Light a difficult place to come again.

“But on the quiet our away form has been good and it played a large part in us getting a top 10 finish last season.

“It has also kept us ticking over this season.

“The point against Liverpool was an excellent one, which seems to have been largely overlooked. And then I was satisfied with the point at Swansea too because it is difficult facing teams in the wake of their promotion.

“Now we go to Norwich, another newly-promoted team, looking to keep that good away form going.”

Bruce admits that it will be difficult to drop anyone from the team which did so well in the win over Stoke City.

“It was an excellent performance and the great thing about it from my point of view was that every player played well, there were good displays all over the pitch, good partnerships too.

“The big question is always do you change a winning team?

“We’ll see.

“I had thought about playing Connor Wickham up front with Nicklas Bendtner against Stoke but in the end I chose Stephane Sessegnon because I thought he would present more problems to Stoke’s centre-halves.

“So you take into consideration the opposition you face, but I have to admit it will be difficult to change a team that played so well.”