PHIL BARDSLEY hopes Carlos Cuellar is the first of several new arrivals at the Stadium of Light this summer.
Bosman signing Cuellar met his new team-mates for the first time yesterday as Sunderland’s squad gathered at the Academy of Light for the opening day of pre-season training.
Martin O’Neill remains on the look-out for further reinforcements, primarily in attack, after landing Cuellar on a free transfer – four years after paying Rangers almost £8milliion to take him to Aston Villa.
And full-back Bardsley believes that if O’Neill can inject further quality into Sunderland’s ranks before the start of the season, the Black Cats should be targeting a European spot next year.
“Carlos Cuellar has come in and bolstered the squad, so it is great news for us and hopefully there are a few more faces on the way to help us head in the direction we want to go in this season,” Bardsley told Sky Sports.
“Obviously, we want to be finishing in the top 10 and pushing for Europe, with the quality of players we have got in the squad and if we make additions, that should be our aim.
“It is up to the players now to knuckle down in pre-season, work as hard as we can and be fresh for the start.”
Cuellar and the bulk of Sunderland’s squad will continue their pre-season preparations today before the squad heads out to South Korea on Monday for the start of the Peace Cup tournament.
The Spaniard tweeted yesterday how he was looking forward to beginning his Sunderland career after penning a two-year deal earlier this month.
“My first day of training, there a (are) good people in the dressing room I was looking forward to start my new adventure,” he said.
His new team-mates also took to Twitter at the start of the pre-season schedule, with all bar Euro 2012 participants John O’Shea, Keiren Westwood, Seb Larsson and James McClean, together with African duo Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephane Sessegnon, now back in training.
Midfielder David Meyler tweeted today “Sweat tests at half 8, the joys of pre season! Have a good day everyone.”
Defender Titus Bramble added: “Good first day back at training. Very hard as expected but good to see the lads again. Roll on august 18th.”