Bardsley "raring to go" at Sunderland

Phil Bardsley is ready for a big season ahead at Sunderland.

"I'm raring to go," Bardsley told the official club website. "The operation was straight-forward really and I've done some running and stuff. There's no problem with my knee, I've had my rest and I'm looking forward to training."

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Sunderland confounded the critics and escaped relegation last time around and Bardsley believes boss Roy Keane will look to push up the table in his second season in The Premier League.

"That will only be a start for him (Keane)," added Bardsley. "The manager wants better things all the time and so do the players. He will try to get more out of us and we will push ourselves.

"I think a fair aim is to finish in the top half and have a cup run.

"We've some decent games in pre-season and while the results don't matter as much it's still nice to win.

"It was great to have some time off, spend some time with the family and go on holiday, but I'm ready to get back into it now.

"We have a great game to start [Liverpool] and if you can't get up for that, you won't be up for any game."

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