STEVE Bruce spoke of his relief after last night’s friendly victory at York that so many of his established players had made successful comebacks from injury.
While all the talk of the summer has been about Sunderland’s nine new signings, the Black Cats’ manager pointed out that having players coming back from injury was almost as significant for the club.
“From my point of view, it was great to see Titus Bramble and Michael Turner back on the pitch again and getting through 90 minutes,” he said after last night’s 2-1 success.
“Yes, they were ring-rusty, but the most important thing is that they are back playing again.
“They were a massive miss for us last season when they were out and having them back – along with Kieran Richardson and Lee Cattermole, let’s not forget, who were also coming back from injury – that’s massive for us.”
Bruce (pictured) was pleased with the contribution of all his regular players and believes that the new arrivals have added an extra edge to the side.
“We’ve got real competitiveness for places with the new signings,” he agreed. “And you could see with the efforts of Cattermole and particularly Jack Colback against York that they have no intention of missing out on things next season.”
Having got the first pre-season game out of the way, Bruce says the stage is set for the squad to progress on the pre-season tour of Germany which begins with Sunday’s clash at Arminia Bielefeld.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I think the York game was a good work-out for us, but the Germany trip will really help us take things on.
“The facilities are great, I think the games will be good and all in all it’s a chance to really up our levels.
“It’s all about being prepared for that first game of the season against Liverpool a month from now. That’s what all this is geared towards.”