Steve Bruce is desperately hoping Steed Malbranque will rediscover the goalscoring form he showed in his Fulham and Tottenham days to help Sunderland through their injury crisis.

Malbranque has managed only one Premier League goal - in a 4-1 win over Hull in December 2008 - since joing Sunderland and was one of the players guilty of missing golden chances in Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Fulham.

The Sunderland boss said: "It's quite incredible. I saw the other day that (Clint) Dempsey overtook Steed as Fulham's all-time Premier League top goalscorer with 33 goals."

He added: "He went to Tottenham and got goals, seven or eight a season, and to be fair that's probably what Roy bought him for.

"He's a fantastic little player who gives you everything he's got but since he came to Sunderland I think he's got one Premier League goal in three years.

"It's a difficulty when you're looking for a goal and somebody of his ability, when he's running through you think surely this is the day. He didn't take it.

"We had four or five (great chances) and that's all you're going to really get in the Premier League. We needed to take one and unfortunately we couldn't."

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