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Europa League round of 16 draw

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Sunderland's Bruce hits back at Blanc comments

Steve Bruce has hit back at Laurent Blanc's damning indictment of Sunderland, claming that Bordeaux's Ligue 1 title success last season has gone to their coach's head.

Blanc recently said the Black Cats were not a big club, after they expressed an interest in Marouane Chamakh and claimed: "If he has to go, it will be to a big club. That's why I'm standing in the way of a departure to Sunderland."

But Bruce has not stood for the comments and has made it clear that former United defender is out of line.

"I know he (Blanc) won the league there last year, and fair play to him, but he knows what it's like in the North East if he has any memory at all,'' he said.

"Maybe he hasn't got any memory now that he's won a league and thinks he's the top coach in Europe all of a sudden.

"Some of the comments coming out of Bordeaux are the most disrespectful I can imagine.

"I think it's insulting to us to say things like that. I wouldn't dream of saying that about any club. I don't know what big club they think they are, but I think we dwarf them in terms of attendances.

"We tried a week ago to try to do a deal properly and see if we could have a meeting with their president, but we're not getting anywhere."

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