The smallish number of fans who chanted “Bruce Out” would surely have grown considerably if Clint Dempsey hadn’t pulled his late shot wide when left with only Keiren Westwood to beat. Not that Fulham deserved to win, neither side doing enough to justify all three points in a match that confirmed both could go down at the end of the season.
Early on Westwood had kept his side level with a fine save from Mousa Dembele before twice Sunderland, through a Kieran Richardson header and Jack Colback left foot effort, had struck the woodwork. That was about it in terms of goalmouth action until late on Lee Cattermole headed Dickson Etuhu’s header off the line, Dempsey screwed wide and Stephane Sessegnon saw his shot deflect off Philippe Senderos to produce a great feet saving save from Mark Schwarzer.
Next week are at home to Steve Bruce’s old side Wigan Athletic. The crowd at the Stadium of Light, an amazing 38,000 for a side that has won just two out its last 15 at home, is quickly running out of patience for a manager who has had plenty of money to spend. Defeat to the bottom club and expect things to turn really nasty.