Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Friday April 23 2010
If this season was based on home form we would be comfortable in the top half of the Premiership. Sadly, if it were based on away form we would be scrapping like our opponents in the bottom three. This has to change....and soon!
Bruce will look to field a strong team as they face relegation threatened Hull City this weekend. He knows this is the major area he has to improve in order to move this club forward and he has a perfect start on Saturday to show how he can manage this task.
Hull lost during midweek and also lost an important striker in Hesselink. Dowie will know if they cannot beat Sunderland on Saturday they will be playing in another league next season.
Bruce said: "I never gave up hope that we could finish in tenth place as I knew we could string some results together.
It is a long shot but it`s still all to play for and if we win this weekend then who knows?
This game is one we can win.
We must be in the frame of mind that we can get something from Hull. As I keep saying we have got to be better away from home.
""Maybe we`ve been too open, too positive on our travels, maybe we`ve got to think about being a little more cagey, a little more defensive.
"A lot of these things will be on my mind in the run-up to the game because we could really do with a change in fortune on the road."
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink will miss this game through concussion in their latest defeat. Mendy will miss the game but Marney could be back from his illness.
Although Hull have had a very poor season, managed by a very poor manager in Dowie they still have Bullard in their team. The midfielder can turn games with his imagination and determination so we will need to cut his movement to the strikers to have a chance of victory this weekend.
John Mensah and Cattermole will both miss this game due to injuries. This is a big blow for Sunderland as Mensah was taken off at half time against Burnley in order to make this game but he broke down in training this week.
Lorik Cana will be fit to be included in the squad.
Sunderland would have had a problem this season if we did not pay £10m for this classy striker. He has scored half of our league goals this season and accrued the majority of our points.
He will look to improve this figure and reach 25 before the end of the season against struggling Hull.
The Tigers have won one of their last 10 league games, taking four points from a possible 30.
They have lost only four of the 16 league games in which on-loan defender John Mensah has played.
Referee: Peter Walton Assistant referees: Stuart Burt & Andy Halliday Fourth official: Andy Hall
Hull 0 - 2 Sunderland I am very confident (said that a lot of times in my SAFC following career) that we will win this game. We can be great at times and if we play Jones and Bent we will cause problems for their poor defence. If we can win this game we can then almost touch 10th place and go into our next game very confidently.
Sunderland play the Champions Man Utd on Sunday live on Sky.
Date:Friday April 23 2010
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