Bruce: Fans can be our extra man

INJURY WOES ... Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
INJURY WOES ... Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.
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STEVE Bruce knows what Wigan’s blueprint for success will be on show at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

The Sunderland boss led former club Wigan to three points on Wearside in March, 2009, with current Black Cats transfer target Charles N’Zogbia grabbing the winner on the stroke of half-time.

Bruce, who won three times at Sunderland while Birmingham boss, had ordered his Latics side to subdue the crowd before the tension began to seep onto the terraces midway through the first half.

With Sunderland facing a pivotal game tomorrow in their battle to avoid being sucked into the relegation dogfight, Bruce hopes his side can give the Stadium of Light faithful some early encouragement and banish any nerves.

Bruce told the Echo: “We need the supporters to really play their part. They’re fantastically loyal and it’s amazing the numbers we get.

“However, that creates difficulties as well. There will be times against Wigan when it’s not going to go as well as we’d like.

“I used to come up here with Wigan and say that after half an hour, because of the expectations, the crowd will get edgy and then it transcends onto the pitch.

“I’ve seen it and used it in my teamtalk when I’ve come up here before.

“So we need the supporters to come and get behind the team. We desperately need their help.”

Read the full story in tonight’s Sunderland Echo.