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Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sunderland boss Bruce sympathy for sacked Chris Hughton

Steve Bruce (left) and Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton's Newcastle side beat Bruce's Sunderland 5-1 earlier this season

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has revealed he has sympathy for former local rival Chris Hughton following his dismissal as Newcastle United manager.

Hughton was sacked on Monday despite leading the Magpies into the Premier League last season and maintaining a mid-table position in the top flight.

"If you look at Chris' record over 18 months, who could have done any better?" Bruce told BBC Newcastle.

"It does baffle me and I'm sure he will be well thought of by many people."

Bruce added: "He has done himself no harm at all and I don't think it will be long before Chris is back into work."

Hughton's reign at Newcastle ended following the Magpies' 3-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

The sacking came as a surprise to many following a number of impressive results, including the 5-1 victory over Bruce's Sunderland side in October, the biggest winning margin in the Tyne-Wear derby since 1955.

Bruce, whose only sacking came at Huddersfield Town in October 2000, admitted the climate has changed since his first years in football management.

"I've been in management for some 10-12 years, and I went into it because the one thing I enjoy more than anything is football and being involved in it," he said.

"I have to admit now, if I could turn the clock back 12 years, then I might doubt whether it's worth putting your family though it, and the time it takes you to get your coaching badges, A badges, B badges, pro-licence, is years.

"When you look in the lower divisions, even now the insanity of the whole picture, you'd question why you'd want to be in that industry because now you don't get a chance.

"It's sad for me because if there is an aspiring good British manager, they're going to think long and hard before they go into the industry. At times I do scratch my head and think: 'Where is it going?'"



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