Villa manager Steve Bruce backs Sunderland boss Chris Coleman but believes the Black Cats need a change in ownership

Steve Bruce believes that if Chris Coleman can't turn around Sunderland's fortunes then nobody can, but he says there needs to be a change in ownership of the club.

Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 5:25 am
Sunderland striker Ashley Fletcher loses possession when in a good position against Villa last night. Picture by Frank Reid

The ex-Sunderland boss oversaw a comfortable 3-0 win for his promotion-chasing Aston Villa side last night to leave the Black Cats deep in relegation trouble.

Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland are four points adrift with 10 games left. Owner Ellis Short is looking to sell Sunderland, with the club in increasing danger of back-to-back relegations.

Bruce said: “There are similarities with the situation I inherited at Villa, but, with us, it’s a new owner and new direction and that’s what Sunderland need.

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“There needs to be a change, because they’re finding it very difficult.

“It’s a great club but if you don’t do it properly you get in a mess. It doesn’t matter whose name is on the door, it can escalate into what it is here today.

“I’ve looked at it from afar from a few years now, it’s been coming and our club was the same, I would hope there’s a bit of light for Sunderland supporters, but change has got to come from the top.

“If Chris can’t turn things around, then nobody can. Changing managers is not the way forward in my opinion.

“Before tonight they looked like they’d turned a little corner but they’ve come up against a good side in us, even though we didn’t play well.

“We were sloppy, but the first goal was always going to be important. We got it, and let the frustration unfold.”

Villa are third, four points from an automatic promotion spot. Bruce added: “If we can turn Wolves over we can give ourselves a chance.”

Ex-Sunderland loan striker Lewis Grabban scored the opening goal for Villa and Bruce added: “Lewis is bang on form – he was excellent.

“He got 12 in 18 games for a team bottom of the league was enough for us to go for him. He’s a better player than I thought he was and he’s been a great addition.”