Bruce - Best ever squad

Sunderland boss delighted with competition for places

Bruce: Believes current crop are superior to anything he has worked with before at Sunderland

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Steve Bruce rates his current Sunderland squad as the finest he has worked with since taking charge at the Stadium of Light.

Bruce became Black Cats boss in June 2009 after leaving Wigan and has so far guided the team to finishes of 13th and tenth in the Premier League.

He has overhauled his squad a couple of times already and made ten new signings this summer after allowing several players to leave.

Sunderland's start to the season has been inconsistent but Bruce maintains that he has every faith in those players at his disposal to take the club to new heights.

"This is easily the best squad I've had since I've been here," he said in The Journal. "They're a delightful bunch to work with. We've got good competition for places.

"We have a group which hopefully we can keep hold of and have some stability over the next two to three years, which will be vital."

Big decisions

Bruce has such strength in depth that he was able to leave out Lee Cattermole on Sunday and bring in David Vaughan, and Sunderland responded with a 4-0 victory over Stoke.

"I'm paid to make big decisions and Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback can feel hard done by because they have both contributed in their own way," said Bruce.

"Vaughany keeps us ticking over in the middle of the pitch. He keeps the ball very, very well as we saw when he was with Blackpool last year.

"Against Stoke I knew that would be vitally important. He had a very good debut."