"Short must be patient with Bruce"

FA Cup-winning hero Dennis Tueart has urged Sunderland owner Ellis Short to keep faith with manager Steve Bruce.

Bruce finally guides Sunderland to victory.

Although four points from his side's last two games has relieved the immediate pressure on Bruce, Sunderland are 14th in the Barclays Premier League with 10 points from 10 games and a trip to Manchester United looming.

While Tueart is most closely associated with Manchester City, where he was both a player and a director, he still keeps a close eye on events in his native north east.

And even though Niall Quinn has sought to reassure Sunderland fans his exit as chairman has not placed Bruce under any extra pressure, Tueart feels American Short must heed the lessons so many foreign owners have failed to accept in their flirtations with the Premier League.

"Patience is the word for Steve," said Tueart, who won the FA Cup with Sunderland in 1973. "He has brought in a lot of players and they need time to gel together.

"The biggest problem with foreign owners not understanding football is that they don't seem to recognise there are only four trophies to win.

"So if there are 10 foreign owners, they can't all win. They have to understand that.

"Nothing happens instantly. If you want to build a tower, you build it on solid foundations. That takes time."

And while he has no axe to grind against Short, Tueart is distrustful of the businessmen who have arrived in the sport believing they hold the answer to age-old questions about success.

"Football seems to have attracted all these mercenary career builders, who just want to get their nose in the trough without any understanding of the game itself," he said.

"They always seem to think they can just turn things round. That is dangerous. Football is not like that."

Tueart has just released his autobiography, telling the story of his lifelong association with the game, starting with his release as a schoolboy by childhood idols Newcastle, through his successful spells at Sunderland and City and the end of his playing days amidst the plethora of stars at New York Cosmos.

In addition, Tueart details his own business career and his time as a City director, immediately before the vast influx of cash from Sheikh Mansour.

And he has decided all the proceeds should go to the teenage and young adult cancer unit at Christie's Hospital in Manchester.

"When I came back from New York I had been revered as a star footballer from 1973 to 1980. It was like Hollywood," he said.

"Within five years I lost my father and my uncle, my brother had cancer, my wife had a miscarriage and I was approaching retirement.

"Thankfully, I had the resilience to overcome things and not let them affect me. Others are not so fortunate.

"Cancer treatments are funded the poorest between the ages of 16 and 24. The money either gets shunted into the babies or the adults.

"But often these are the ages where diagnosis comes the latest because of a general reluctance to admit there is a problem.

"The money for my autobiography won't change my lifestyle but both the cash, and the awareness of a problem, might alter lives."

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