Steve Bruce during the match (photo: AP)
The 50-year old Sunderland coach Steve Bruce has blasted his players after a 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Notts County, declaring they were beaten fair and square.
"We got exactly what we deserved when we started the game like that," Bruce was quoted saying on Sunderland’s official website.
The coach described the team's performance as unacceptable, while admitting that he didn’t make the best of use Egyptian winger Ahmed Elmohamady and Jordan Henderson.
"Only when we brought Jordan Henderson and Ahmed Elmohamady on did we show any sort of urgency, and it proved to be too late," Bruce said.
The Egyptian star came off the bench in the 60th minute replacing Cristian Riveros and making many aggressive passes in the area, though none was appropriately taken by teammates.
"We didn't have any energy and we got what we deserved. A few need to look at themselves — me included," Bruce concluded.