Sunderland boss Bruce disappointed by Mensah

John Mensah

John Mensah

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STEVE Bruce was unhappy to see John Mensah’s reaction to being substituted in the closing stages of Sunderland’s defeat to Wolves on Saturday.

The on-loan Ghanaian ran straight down the tunnel, failing to shake hands with his young replacement, debutant Louis Laing.

Bruce said: “I think, in his eyes, he has not given a jot who was coming on.

“All he is feeling is total disappointment in himself and I understand that because I was disappointed in his first-half performance, too.

“Things like that happen in the heat of the moment in games and we’ll deal with it.

“John Mensah is a highly respectable man, but, in his actions, he let himself down.”

Bruce saw shoots of recovery with Sunderland’s first-half performance against Wolves, only to be dismayed by the second-half capitulation – as Wolves recorded their first top-flight win on Wearside since 1981 and their first by more than a goal since December, 1957.

He added: “In the first half, we were terrific, absolutely terrific. We should have been two or three-nil up by the end of it.

“I don’t know how many times we’ve got into great position, put great crosses in but had no-one there to get on the end of them.

“The display was good up to that point, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t sustain it. Whether it’s because we haven’t got the legs or the fitness overall isn’t there, it’s not quite clear.

“But the problem you have there is that when you’re down to the bare bones because of the injury situation, you haven’t really got the capacity to change it in the second half.

“We haven’t defended properly. We haven’t shown the right resilience. And, of course, I have been playing people out of position. It has been a massive frustration.”