Football

Bruce up for the cup

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Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keeping his fingers crossed fatigue will not derail his hopes of cup success at the first hurdle.

The Black Cats manager will take his side to former club Norwich in the Carling Cup second round on Monday intent upon progressing to the latter stages of both domestic knockout competitions this season.

He said: "It's practically impossible for us to try to win the Premier League, but the one thing we can do is win a cup competition."

He added: "It's five, six games and you never know, the luck of the draw and all the rest of it...

"I am going to take that as seriously as I can."

That said, Bruce admitted after Saturday's 2-1 league win over Blackburn that he would have to make changes for the game at Carrow Road after a gruelling start to the new campaign for his players.

Monday's game with be the fourth in 10 days for the bulk of his team, several of whom have also played for their countries during the week before the season got under way.

He has not been shy in voicing his disquiet over the busy early schedule, particularly with Blackburn not in action last midweek while Sunderland were being given the run-around by title contenders Chelsea.

The Black Cats went into Saturday's game with fitness doubts over keeper Marton Fulop and midfielders Lee Cattermole, Lorik Cana and Steed Malbranque, and although all four played, Fulop in particular struggled.

Asked about the injury situation immediately after the game, Bruce replied: "We have got hundreds, hundreds. I wouldn't know where to start, to be honest. But I will have to make changes on Monday because we have played four games, if you have played an international, in nine days, which is totally ridiculous at the start of the season."

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Topics:
Sunderland
Norwich City
Marton Fulop
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Lee Cattermole
League Cup
Chelsea
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Steed Malbranque

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