SUNDERLAND fans have laid the lie to the claims that Steve Bruce’s Geordie origins cost him his job as Black Cats’ boss.
An urban myth is in danger of taking hold that Bruce was doomed almost as soon as he took over at the Stadium of Light because of his Geordie heritage.
Tell that to Bob Stokoe – the Geordie whose statue stands outside the ground.
And if people claim that was then, this is now; well, tell that to Jack Colback – the Tynesider who Sunderland fans have taken to their hearts.
Alan Shearer on Match of the Day recently was perpetuating this nonsense that Bruce was always on tricky ground whenever Sunderland lost because of his Newcastle roots.
And those who answered our survey made it clear that Bruce being a Geordie had little to do with his dismissal and that results and tactics did.
To the question: “What was the biggest factor behind fans turning against Steve Bruce?” a staggering 94 per cent selected either poor results and performances (77 per cent) or team selection and tactics (17 per cent). Only four per cent suggested it might be his Geordie roots.
Another issue in which Sunderland fans answered as one, was the question of whether the club was right to sack Bruce when they did.
An utterly comprehensive 96 per cent said owner-chairman Ellis Short was right to wield the axe, while four per cent suggested the manager should have stayed to see the job through.
There was a bit more of a split when the timing of the sacking was raised.
That same tiny majority – five per cent in this case – believed Bruce was sacked too soon, while the majority, 51 per cent, thought he was sacked at the right time and a similar number, 44 per cent, believe the chop should have come sooner and that Bruce was allowed to stay too long.
READ more of the survey results in today’s Echo