Quinn to launch inquest
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn says he will be investigating the club's dramatic slump following the turn of the year which leaves the club still in danger of dropping out of the Premier League.
Sunderland have a six-point cushion to West Ham United in the final relegation place, but a run of seven defeats in eight games has left Black Cats fans fearing the worst.
Many point to the sale of Darren Bent to Aston Villa as the catalyst for the implosion, while others blame injury problems, and Quinn will be seeking answers.
Quinn told the Sunderland Echo: "Once we get through this, we will look back to see what might have been done differently, how we might have improved things.
"And of course in the summer, we will evaluate things such as the catastrophic injury problems we have had to contend with and look at our transfer policy collectively.
"Just like last season, we will sit down with Steve Bruce, take stock and work out together how we improve on this season and how we continue the building process to make us stronger and better in the following season.
"I know that everyone inside the club, from top to bottom, is trying to do their very best to help things turn around again, and all that counts at the moment is that we concentrate on picking up points for our final few games.
"Everyone at the club is fully committed and focused on finishing as high up the Premier League table as we possibly can, and hopefully things will finally start going our way over the next few weeks.''
Bruce knows he needs to win over the fans again.
He told the Daily Mirror: "It is important for me, my staff and my team to restore [the fans'] faith in us. It is when you are up against it you need a bit of support and we've had a tough time of late.
"Management is a test when you are up against it, but we can't feel sorry for yourself. You have to roll your sleeves up, get on with it and have a bit of hunger and fire in your belly to make sure that as an individual and a team you try everything to turn it around.
"Every club has a bad spell - even Chelsea and Arsenal have had one."