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'Hurt' Bruce eager to get back in game

Steve Bruce will take a few weeks to recharge his batteries and take stock, and then he wants to leap straight back into football management, according to sources close to the first Premier League manager sacked this season.

• Hughes and O'Neill top Sunderland list
• Sunderland sack Bruce
• Blog: Failed experiment

Far from being disillusioned with the game, although hurt by what happened at the Stadium of Light, Bruce is eager to restore his reputation in management. In fact, Bruce is shocked that he has been described as a managerial dinosaur who has no concept of new methods.

A close friend of Bruce has been appalled by some of the stinging comments aimed at the newly-axed Bruce.

"Knowing Steve, he will want to bounce back immediately, he won't want to be out of the game for long, it's in his blood,"

"Some managers want to take a year's sabbatical, but not Steve. He will need a few weeks to get the bitterness out of his system, but then he will be raring to go."

On the field, Sunderland had clearly lost their cutting edge in attack, but those who support Bruce's cause would point out that the club have sold two of their key forwards.

It was only a year ago that Bruce had England's two centre forwards in his team, Danny Welbeck and Darren Bent.

"The club sold Darren Bent for £24 million. They didn't have to take the money. They could have offered the player the sort of money that Villa had offered. But it was too good a deal to turn down.

"The club also took a fantastic £6.5 million for a one-year loan deal for Asamoah Gyan, but that happened without any time to find a replacement although Steve did get Nicklas Bendtner in.

"When he reads just a day after being sacked that he has no idea of modern management techniques, that really hurt him," said the supportive friend. "He has all sorts at his club, psychologists, Pro Zone data. Anything that managers use these days he has at the club."

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