Steve Bruce: O'Neill is getting credit for my hard work
Published 22:30 05/04/12 By MirrorFootball
Steve Bruce insists HE should be getting the credit that's been heaped on successor Martin O’Neill for saving Sunderland’s season.
O’Neill has led the Black Cats from the bottom three to within striking distance of matching their highest ever Premier League finish in a whirlwind four-month reign since replacing Bruce before Christmas.
Bruce feels the club's billionaire owner Ellis Short got rid of him too soon, having backed him with major funds for significant surgery to the squad last summer.
And the 50-year-old Geordie believes O’Neill is now reaping the rewards of his hard work.
Bruce said: “I completely rebuilt our side with the money we received from Liverpool for Jordan Henderson.
“Martin O’Neill is a good manager and has undoubtedly motivated the players, but what’s now being seen is the players I brought in bedding down and proving how good they are.
"James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon are the headline stealers, but we signed them, of course.
“I’m genuinely pleased for Sunderland and for Martin, yet we were only 11 games into a new season when I left. I wasn’t given much time, was I?”
Bruce insists he was driven out by hatred from Wearside fans over his Geordie roots.
He added: “We had had a slow start, but weren’t in serious trouble. We weren’t staring at relegation.
“What I needed was time for new players to bed in, to get used to new surroundings and new tactics. I wasn’t given that, which disappoints me.
“The owner saw the hatred that was directed towards me from the terraces and thought I’d never recover from it.
"Even if I had won the next six games, some people would never have forgiven me for being a Geordie.”