The beleaguered Black Cats boss’ job is now under extreme duress after his sides lacklustre start to the season and an unimaginative display against the Canaries has now got fans calling for his dismissal.
Leon Barnett fired Paul Lamberts side into a first half and before summer signing Steve Morison doubled that after the restart with his first goal for the club.
A late Kieron Richardson strike finally gave the travelling Sunderland fans something to celebrate but the trip back to Wearside is sure to be filled with discussion as to whether Bruce should be ousted from the managers office.
After smashing four goals past Stoke at the Stadium of Light last Sunday to record their first win many supporters were optimistic that the result would prove to be the kickstart the players needed to get their campaign off and running.
Unfortunately for those clad in red and white it must have seemed like a wasted journey as their side served up a colourless performance against a team who were playing in League One just 18 months earlier.
Norwich thoroughly deserved all three points after carrying the momentum over from last week’s away victory at Bolton into the game with Lambert sticking with the same team from that game.
The Canaries were as energetic as you like as they hustled and harried a Sunderland side that didn’t look interested during the first half despite having a majority of possession.
Depsite that they never created any clear cut chances with most efforts coming from long range causing a succession of groans from the away end.
Nicklas Bendtner, who was arguably the best of a bad bunch, did manage to work an opportunity closer to goal but his low shot was saved by John Ruddy before Barnett put the home side ahead.
Where the Dane failed the defender didn’t as he rose to touch in an Elliott Bennett cross from six yards out in the 31st minute for his first goal of the season.
They took that lead into the second half and had to wait only three minutes for it to be doubled with Morison scoring for the first time since signing from Millwall in the summer.
Russell Martin dashed into the Sunderland half before playing in Marc Tierney who’s cross was met with a thumping header from the Welsh striker giving goalkeeper Simon Mignolet no chance.
That seemed to final wake up the Black Cats who were almost handed a lifeline only for Bendtner’s deflected shot to be turned away by Ruddy after Bradley Johnson had failed to clear a throw in.
Bruce then threw teenager Connor Wickham into the fray with a chorus of boo’s meeting the former Ipswich strikers arrival. He almost silenced them just minutes after his introduction only to head the ball straight into Ruddy’s arms from six yards.
Sunderland cranked up the pressure and finally made the breakthrough four minutes from time with Richardson rifling a long range effort past Ruddy to set up a tense final few minutes.
The Canaries had to see out the game with 10 men after James Vaughan was forced off with injury but they managed to hold on to move up to ninth in Premier League.