Bruce dedicates win to Big Sam
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce dedicated his side's 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Blackburn to sacked colleague Sam Allardyce.
Bruce, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Friday, is a close friend of Allardyce and was swift to condemn his dismissal by Rovers last month in the immediate aftermath of the game.
He said: "I would like to say, that's for Sam. I spoke to him in before the match and the nonsense that went around with his sacking, that was for him. I hope he has a drink in Dubai, where he is at the moment. That was for him."
He added: "I know he is a pal, but the ludicrous position they have put themselves is quite unbelievable, whoever has taken over there.
"To sack someone like Sam and then appoint his coach, I find totally and utterly ridiculous, not just because he is a friend.
"The whole of football - the number of conversations I have had have been all about Sam and what is going on. A result like that puts football, for me, the right way."
Bruce was a happy man after seeing strikers Darren Bent, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck rediscover their touch in front of goal after a barren day against Blackpool on Tuesday.
Bruce, who confirmed that skipper Lee Cattermole faces a month on the sidelines with a back problem, was particularly pleased for Bent, who had gone five games without a goal before this match.
Bruce said: "I am pleased for him because as I have said repeatedly, class is permanent. What he has done over 19, 20 months here, he is still in the calendar year the top English goalscorer in the Premier League, which is a remarkable achievement.
"Yes, he didn't score in December, but he will always score a goal. He always had done, always will do. He might miss a few chances, like they all do, but he is terrific."