Bruce: Sunderland squad overhaul bigger job than expected

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits his revamp of the squad he inherited is a bigger job than he first anticipated.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits his revamp of the squad he inherited is a bigger job than he first anticipated.

Bruce knows he will have to continue his squad revamp in the summer if he is to strengthen and avoid the kind of mid-season dip that Sunderland have suffered in the current campaign.

He told the Sunday Sun: “It’s a bigger rebuilding job than I thought and it can’t just happen overnight.

“It’s one problem with the system we have got in the Premier League.

“In the Championship, you can turn players over – you can let someone go out on loan and bring someone else in on loan yourself.

“You can’t do that in the Premier League.

“If I get X amount to spend in the summer, I will probably spend it on buying in one or two quality signings.

“Because the biggest thing that has happened to me since coming to Sunderland is that I have realised what kind of player is needed to play here, in front of this crowd, and deal with the expectation.

“To play here and be successful, you have to be a really, really good player – a top player. And they are expensive.

“If you go back to the most successful period Sunderland had in the Premier League, they had Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips. How much would they be now?

“If you’re talking about Crouch and Jermain Defoe at Spurs, Quinn and Phillips would be on a par with them.”