Steve Bruce will not underestimate the threat posed by Barclays Premier Lague new boys Swansea City when his Sunderland side travel to South Wales this weekend, but is hopeful of kick-starting the Black Cats' season with three points at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams have made similarly underwhelming starts to the 2011-12 campaign, with just one point each collected from their opening two league fixtures, and they also found themselves on the wrong end of Carling Cup scalps in midweek, exiting the competition in the second round, at the expense of lower league opposition.

But Bruce has warned his Sunderland players they face a difficult task in overcoming Brendan Rodgers' side, and that he expects a tightly-contested encounter.

"You have to say, what Swansea have done over the last few years is fantastic," he said. "It wasn't so long ago that they were almost out of the league. As always, we look forward to the challenge and we know it will be a big, big game for us.

"They play their own style and the two wide lads get at you and they have a certain way of playing that has served them well over a few years now. They seem comfortable in doing it and we know what to expect."


 

The momentum carried from the back end of last season is, according to Bruce, another reason to be cautious when facing not only the Swans, but any of the newly promoted sides.

"They're cock-a-hoop from getting promoted to the Premier League," he continued.

"Blackpool are a prime example last season of a promoted team who took the league by storm to start with and certainly Swansea have played some very good football over the last two or three years and we have to compliment them on that.

"But we've shown so far this season that we can play as well and we'll go there in the belief we can get a win and kick-start our season."

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Steve Bruce