Sunderland defender Titus Bramble has revealed he and his team-mates are still “100 per cent” behind manager Steve Bruce despite the club’s underwhelming start to the season.
A 4-0 victory over Stoke City at the Stadium of Light last weekend provided a timely boost for Bruce, who was beginning to come under real pressure following the Black Cats’ winless start to the campaign.
But while Bramble – who scored the opening goal in the win – concedes the result was hugely significant, he does not believe his manager’s position was ever in question.
“Stoke was massive,” he told reporters. “Outside the club, everybody was thinking panic stations. Inside the club, it was different.
“We know we’ve got a great squad, a great manager and a great coaching staff. We knew that when the first win came we’d end up getting more.
“When we lost a lot of games at the back end of last season, maybe a lot of clubs would be thinking, ‘Right, let’s get rid of the manager’, but that doesn’t do anything.
“It’s great that we’ve got a good chairman who knows the club inside out and who knows that changing the manager wouldn’t do anything.
“It feels like a stable club. That comes down from the top, which is really positive.
"If you lose a couple of games, the fans are going to get restless, but inside the club, we know that everybody is 100 per cent behind the manager and that everything would turn out all right.”
Bramble also revealed he sees certain similarities in management style between Bruce and the late Sir Bobby Robson, who splashed out £5million to bring him to Newcastle back in 2002.
“What they have in common is that they’re both great man-managers,” Bramble added.
“They know when to hammer you and when to put their arm around you. They also take the pressure off players, put it on their own shoulders and then when you come in on Monday, that’s when you’ll get it.”
Having come through the youth ranks at local rivals Ipswich Town, Bramble is under no illusions as to the kind of welcome he will receive from the Norwich City faithful when Sunderland visit on Monday night.
“I never played in an East Anglian derby,” he said. “I played against Norwich in a friendly for Newcastle and got some stick, but that’s it.
“Monday will be interesting. I’m sure it’ll be tasty.”