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Bruce says North East 'not an easy place to manage'

Hull City boss Steve Bruce offered sympathy to Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew ahead of their Premier League clash this weekend.

Bruce, who spent 18 months as Sunderland manager between 2009 and 2011, said the North East is 'not an easy place to manage'. Bruce also said reports suggesting that he is being lined-up replace Pardew at Newcastle were 'hugely disrespectful'.

Newcastle welcome Hull to St James' Park tomorrow afternoon.

Poyet says Ji situation "wasn't easy" for Sunderland

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet says the situation surrounding Ji Dong-won "wasn't easy" for the club.

The Black Cats have been fined by the Football Association for playing the South Korean earlier in the season without international clearance. The club said in a statement the issue was a result of a "technical fault".

The 22-year-old is now with German side FC Augsburg and is joining Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

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Sunderland say player registration issue "closed"

Sunderland have released the following statement:

“The issue of Ji Dong-won was explained in detail at today’s Premier League shareholders' meeting and no issues were raised by any club.

“Sunderland AFC confirmed that they had complied with all procedures and the Premier League stated that the player was duly registered on the extranet system and in all other Premier League mechanisms.

“The club has never accepted any wrongdoing, but did acknowledge that a technical fault occurred and as such were fined by the Premier League accordingly in December.

“The matter is now closed.”

– Spokesperson, Sunderland AFC

Bruce: Sunderland could be in serious trouble

Ji Dong-won Credit: PA

Steve Bruce believes his former club Sunderland could be "in serious trouble" after it emerged the club were fined for fielding striker Ji Dong-won in four Premier League games for which he was technically ineligible.

Sunderland were fined a six-figure sum after they made the Premier League aware that they did not have international clearance for the Korean player.

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Bruce admits taking Sunderland job "was a mistake"

Hull City boss Steve Bruce has admitted his time as Sunderland manager was possibly "a mistake".

The 52-year-old, from Corbridge in Northumberland, took charge of the Black Cats in June 2009 but was sacked in November 2011 after a 2-1 home defeat to Wigan. Bruce added that being a fan of their bitter rivals Newcastle United made life difficult for him at the Stadium of Light.

He said: "I was bitterly disappointed the way it ended and I'll never forget that day at Wigan when the crowd turn on you. I wouldn't want any manager to go through that.

"Looking back on it now, maybe it was a mistake being where I'm from and a Newcastle fan. I wouldn't say that's the utmost reason but a lot [of people] couldn't quite hack that."

Hull host Sunderland at the KC Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.