Bruce - Relegation fear is real
Black Cats boss still confident they can achieve their goals
Last Updated: April 8, 2011 4:22pm
Steve Bruce has warned his Sunderland players that they are in the midst of a relegation battle.
The Black Cats made a promising start to the season as they collected 37 points from their first 24 league games.
It left many observers tipping them as outside candidates to seal a European place, but a run of six defeats in their last seven games has checked those aspirations.
They are now just six points above the bottom three but Bruce remains bullish they can achieve their aim of a top-10 finish.
However, despite those ambitions, he acknowledges they are in a dogfight at present.
"Yes. We would be naive if we didn't think we are not in there now," said Bruce.
"But I don't want to talk about it; I would rather think if we win on Saturday, we could go seventh.
"That's how crazy it is, it's an unbelievable season in respect of that. We have not talked about it at all.
"It's the first time in seven months we have been outside the top 10, and we have had a particularly difficult run.
"We have now got seven games left and all to play for, and the run of games we have got, hopefully we are capable of winning two or three of those.
"If we win two or three of those, then we are still on course for what we are trying to achieve."