Tony Pulis has backed Sunderland manager Steve Bruce to get through his difficult start to the season.

Bruce made 11 signings during the summer transfer window in an effort to bolster his squad, but has since seen striker Asamoah Gyan make a shock loan move to United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain, while on the pitch the Black Cats have started the campaign without a win in five games.

The Wearside outfit head into Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke at the Stadium of Light with the pressure on Bruce, but Potters boss Pulis said: "Steve Bruce is a great manager, he is at a great club and you have difficult times - that is management, it is a really difficult job."

He added: "The aspirations of people connected with clubs now is far beyond what most people can achieve but that is the way we live our lives.

"Expectations and aspirations of fans at every club up and down the country far exceed what is reality in lots of respects, but you have to deal with it and manage it.

"Ninety per cent is managing expectations but you have to do it if you want to be in it.

"Steve and the club will be fine. He is a strong and competent person who will enjoy the challenge.

"You need a bit of time to bed in new players. He's been unlucky with John O'Shea's injury and the situation with Asamoah Gyan, but that happens.

"He won't want me trying to tell him what to do.

"Football is like life, it goes up and down. You have to take the good times and bad times and deal with them in the same way."

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Topics:
Sunderland
Stoke City
Football
John O'Shea
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Asamoah Gyan