Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Monday December 27 2010
Sunderland have lost four times this season and have an unbeaten home record under Steve Bruce this campaign.
Bruce knows that the next two games against Blackpool and Blackburn will shape the future of our run in and league expectations for the ambitious fans.
If Sunderland can manage to win back-to-back against these two clubs this will leave them on 35 points on the 1st of January.
Bruce said: 'Now the defining part of the season is upon us. We have got back-to-back home games against Blackpool and Blackburn - can we go and win them both?
'If we can, then we have got an exciting Spring to look forward to.
'It won't be easy, and they will be as fresh as daisies as well. They haven't played at all now for two weeks, so all the little injuries and knocks and all the rest of it that they have had will be okay.
'We will have to treat them with the respect we gave Manchester United.
'Our home form has been terrific and we are a different beast. We hope we go and produce the kind of performance were we are capable of getting a result at home, and we will be trying our utmost.'
'We have had some wretched bad luck. We went to United without seven players, but we have three or four of them back.
'Titus Bramble has trained for the last three or four days, so he could be in contention - maybe he just needs another week.
'We have to make do and mend. We can't just go out and buy players because we have five or six missing for one game.
'We hope to have three or four back in the next couple of weeks.
'When you are fresh it does help you. Some of our lads have run a million miles.
'I will be able to freshen it up a little bit. I will have Welbeck and Cattermole. I will have Richardson and probably Bramble.
'That will freshen me up in the midfield areas. That will be a help to us.'
Date:Monday December 27 2010
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