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Bruce impatient for Sunderland season to begin

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is looking forward to the start of the new season. Bruce said: "It's a great start.

"I'm sure we'll have a huge following at Bolton for the first game, and I certainly couldn't have picked tougher opponents than Chelsea for my first match in charge at the Stadium of Light.

"Bolton are difficult to beat, especially on their own ground, but it's a game that we will go into full of confidence.

"We will hopefully have some new faces and I have no doubt we will get fantastic backing because everyone knows our away support is unbelievable.

"We have got Manchester United and Liverpool as well as Chelsea to play in our first nine games, but you have got to play everybody twice whenever the fixtures come around, and we will look to enjoy the big games.

"But of course they are all big games in this league."

The players are due to return for pre-season training on July 8, and their new manager cannot wait to get down to work.

He told the club's official website: "The season is just around the corner with the players due back for training early next month, but at this stage of the year it's important to have a break because once the season comes around, it totally engulfs you.

"It is the toughest league in the world and you have to be ready for it.

"The great thing is that having been appointed in the run up to pre-season, I have time to think things through and then have six weeks working with the players before the big kick-off."

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