Sir Alex Ferguson claims "being a Geordie" may have contributed to Steve Bruce's exit from Sunderland.

Bruce, a former player under Ferguson at Old Trafford, left Sunderland on Wednesday and the United boss believes he fell foul of the ruthless Tyne v Wear competition.

Ferguson said: "Fans just don't have the patience any longer, just see what happened to Steve Bruce up in the north east where being a Geordie didn't help him. In that part of the world they are so passionate and committed to their football team. I think Brucie has suffered because of that but that's the kind of supporters we have these days - no patience."

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