MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 03:41:43

Steve Bruce slams "ridiculous" reports

Bruce slams
© PA Photos
Steve Bruce slams reports that suggest his job is on the line at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has slammed recent reports that suggest he could soon be replaced at the Stadium of Light.

Bruce, who has led his side to just one win in eight games this season, has dismissed speculation that former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has been lined up as his successor.

"I think a lot of the criticism has been unjust and unfair," he said, speaking ahead of this afternoon's trip to the Emirates. "But that is what the North East is. We lost against Newcastle and that is where it started. The criticism and suggestions I was under pressure and going to lose my job were ridiculous.

"So were the claims that Martin O'Neill had been approached. I don't mind criticism at all, but I think it has been over-the-top. But coming here I always knew that's the way it is.

"Is Roy Hodgson under the same pressure as I am? Is Martin Jol? Is Owen Coyle – who has won one game in 15 – under as much pressure as I am supposed to be? You tell me. That is what I find frustrating."

Following a stint with Wigan, Bruce took over at Sunderland at the end of the 2009 season.

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