Sunderland boss Roy Keane is delighted with the raft of summer signings he's made.
Sunderland flew to Ireland yesterday with 20 players on board the plane, including new signings Steed Malbranque, Pascal Chimbonda, El-Hadji Diouf and Teemu Tainio. All four are set to feature against Athlone tonight.
"I'm delighted with the way pre-season has gone - we've avoided injuries, the new players have settled in and we continue to try to strengthen," Keane told the club's website.
"It was important that we brought in quality players. When you bring in top-quality players, it pushes the others on. The regulars in my team last year are probably thinking they will have to step up to another level.
"I was delighted to get the deals done and they have quickly plugged into what we are all about."
Keane added: "The reason why we have had a little bit of success over the last couple of seasons is because everyone has worked their socks off. It's so far, so good for the new players, but they'll soon find out that if they don't work, they won't be in my team."