Gardner lays on night out for Sunderland squad

Sunderland's players celebrated victory over Stoke City with a lads' night out.

Sunderland's players celebrated victory over Stoke City with a lads' night out.

The victory was cause for celebration following their poor start to the season having lost two of their opening five fixtures.

A team lottery saw midfielder Craig Gardner footing the bill and Steve Bruce, who brought 11 players to the Stadium of Light in the summer transfer window, believes the outing to be a healthy for squad morale.

"They all went out together this week," he said.

"They went go-karting, they went for a Japanese meal. Where they went after that, God only knows, but they all came back in one piece.

"That's good - it's part and parcel of being in the team. I believe they came to an agreement that they would throw their credit cards in and whoever's came out would buy the meal for everyone else.

"I'm told that Gardner's came out - he paid for it.

"It's not just ability in terms of the squad I've got now, they're also a great bunch, a really good bunch who want to do well. They are a manager's dream. That was uppermost in in my decision-making."

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