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Sunderland boss Bruce: No need to panic over form

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is calm over their current situation.

The Black Cats go into tonight's clash with Stoke City on a poor run of results.

Just as he was not getting carried away by the successes of the opening months of the campaign, Bruce is refusing to allow the current run to sow any seeds of doubt.

He said: "I don't really feel the pressure - I always think 'pressure' is an over-used word. You know the job you are in.

"I always tried to quell the expectation, I always tried to say to people, 'Listen, we have just been out of the Championship two years, we have been in the bottom five for two years, so it's going to take a big turnaround, it is going to take time before we get ourselves established'.

"You always try to go down that route. It's not very easy and of course with a club like ours when you get off to a great start, the expectation goes through the roof.

"Please believe what I am saying to you - if we had stayed injury-free, I think we had a possibility of carrying it on.

"But it wasn't to be. We have had our big players missing, injured or suspended, for weeks and we have suffered, so we must try to get them back."

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