Recent media reports have speculated that Sunderland were considering the future of manager Steve Bruce following the club's lacklustre start to the season and the shock departure of their record signing Asamoah Gyan. However, the board have today come out and dismissed these rumours as false and it now appears that Bruce is safe...for the time being at least. Bruce's odds have been cut to just 4/1 in the Next Premier League Manager To Be Sacked betting market.
Following Saturday's defeat to Chelsea - which was their eighth home defeat out of nine - Sunderland have dropped to 16th in the table with just two points from their opening four games, which has included a home defeat to fierce rivals Newcastle. The Black Cats were one of the busiest teams in the summer transfer market, making 12 signings and bringing in the likes of Connor Wickham, Nikolas Bendtner and Craig Gardner. They have found goals hard to come by this season with just two so far and that situation has not been helped by the surprise departure of striker Gyan on loan to United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain. The board placed their faith in Bruce by giving him the funds to bring in new players, but their patience will wear thin if results do not come fast. Bruce is now under pressure to convince both the fans and the board that he is the right man for the job and that he can take them forward.
Sunderland face Stoke City on Saturday in what has rapidly turned into a crucial game for Bruce. A defeat could be very costly and put his position in serious jeapody and thus open up the Next Sunderland Manager betting market. Sunderland are the 6/4 favourites with Paddy Power, while Stoke are available at 15/8, with a draw priced at 11/5.