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Sunderland boss Bruce: Bust-ups never used to reach papers

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is surprised to see his fellow managers under pressure after player bust-ups this week.

In the wake of spats involving fellow bosses Tony Pulis and Jim Magilton this week, Sunderland manager Bruce admits it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the modern player.

"It never used to get out of the dressing room," Bruce said. "The manager would get hold of you and there would be a fight every other week. The number of fights I've seen . . . that's the way it's gone, with the media spotlight, Twitter, it spreads like wildfire.

"You can't really financially hurt players any more. The biggest difficulty, as every Premier League manager will tell you, is motivating them with their fantastic wages.

"What I will say is that the really great players would have been the same if they were playing for a penny: they would still want to be the best and that's what separates them from the average Premier League player.

"When it comes to a Saturday they want to be the best player on the pitch. Mentally they are strong and they would trample over their grandmother to get what they want.

"The ones who aren't quite as good are the ones that cause you problems. You get trouble from average players, the really top players don't give you any."

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