Sunderland Avoid Barrow Banana Skin
Bruce made some decisions that signalled that he is taking this competition very seriously, even with most of his first team being injured or suspended.
Darren Bent started up front with Fraizer Campbell as Sunderland looked to get back to winning ways as they have not won in their last seven attempts in the league. Cana and Da Silva started in the middle of defence as Bardo and McCartney paired up on either flanks.
Youngsters Meyler and Henderson had to overcome some strong tackles in the centre of midfield, but they showed their ability by getting the better of the Cumbrians.
The game was dominated, as expected by Sunderland, but if it were not for the excellent performance by Barrow's goalkeeper Tim Deasy and a great early save by Fulop the score line could have been completely different.
Barrow started the game very well and had a great long range free-kick pushed wide by Fulop as Sunderland struggled to find their feet. However, a star performance by Campbell up front seen him create the first goal with a lovely back heel into the path of Steed Malbranque who buried it past Deasy.
Once Sunderland took the advantage in the 15th minute the game slowly went all Sunderland's way and they started to show their class.
In the second half Campbell scored a quick brace with his head as Murphy and Bardsley supplied the crosses for him to get on to the end of.
It would have been a sickening blow for the 8000 Barrow fans but they still had a good day out in the North East as their team went down fighting.
Ryan Noble was a late substitute for Bent as he missed several chances throughout the game and he looks a real prospect. Noble had two chances within minutes of his introduction and has great pace and skill to go with his incredible goal record so far this term.
A good day for Sunderland and no upset at the Stadium of Light. Hopefully by the time the 4th round arrives we will have most of our regular players back into the squad.