Bruce backs Dugarry
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The French ace has struggled so far this season after lighting up St Andrews during his loan spell last season.
Dugarry has been hampered by injuries this season and as yet he has failed to score a goal, but Bruce believes he will soon turn it around.
"Christophe is the first to admit he hasn't been anywhere near the way he was last season," said Bruce.
"But give the fella a break. Almost single-handedly he kept us up, he was absolutely awesome, let's not forget that.
"In pre-season he had trouble with his knee and we decided it needed to be operated on. He's taken a while to get over it and he's only played five games games since coming back at Leeds a month ago.
"He has found it difficult, he has had to fight and scrap these past three matches.
"The service has been a bit limited to him and, let's face it, the games were against Manchester United, Chelsea and Villa, none of which were ever going to be easy for us.
"He comes across as a bit frustrated, a bit disheartened, but that's him, that's his manner. It's not that he doesn't care, quite the opposite, he's so disappointed that he hasn't yet met the standards he sets himself."
Bruce has also spoken out in defence of David Dunn after he came in for some criticism from Blues fans for his over-indulgence against Aston Villa last weekend.
"I think Dunn is trying too hard and thinks he has to justify himself and the big fee. But he doesn't have to justify anything to me, he's already shown in other games he's a very talented player," added Bruce.
"Again, by his own standards, he didn't play well against Villa but neither did many.
"I know that he feels a bit restricted when I play him on the right-hand side but that shouldn't come into it too much, he should just be himself."