Steve Bruce remains convinced he could have resurrected Sunderland from their slump if allowed time.
Bruce was sacked at the end of November after two and a half years in charge following a poor start to the season in which Sunderland won just two of their opening 13 matches.
"It is never easy when you get the sack, especially when it's a public sacking of course," Bruce told Sky Sports News. "It is unfortunate the way it went and I am disappointed we didn't get a bit longer, but all managers are going to say that I suppose. We finished 10th last year, which was a decent finish for them and we made many, many changes."
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