STEVE Bruce is braced for a rough ride at the hands of Sunderland fans when he returns to the Stadium of Light for the first time.
Bruce, who was taking Hull City to Wearside this afternoon, was sacked as Black Cats boss in November 2011.
His lifelong allegiance with rivals Newcastle may not have helped, but his assertion that it scuppered his reign from the start did not go down well with the Sunderland faithful either.
Although a childhood Magpies fan, Bruce was booed when he took Hull to Newcastle earlier this season – an inevitable consequence of his Sunderland past, but also a milder version that he expects today.
“I have a sneaky suspicion it’ll be a little bit more hostile than at Newcastle,” he said. “A lot has been said about it and I’m bored of it myself, to be honest.
“I haven’t been back since I left, but as far as I’m concerned it’s gone.
“I’ve been here almost a couple of years, there’s been three managers since I left Sunderland, let’s get on with our lives.
“All I can say is, in my time there, I took over a team that just survived on the last day of the season. We finished 13th and 10th but it wasn’t to be.”