STEVEN Fletcher wants to make up for lost time now that his protracted transfer to Sunderland is finally complete.
The £12m man signed a four-year contract with the Black Cats yesterday after months of transfer wrangling between Sunderland and Wolves.
And the Scot, who tweeted during the middle of the saga that he had handed a transfer request in and was desperate to leave Molineux, is thrilled to have his future resolved at last.
Now he has his eyes set on making an impact at Sunderland as soon as possible – despite recently recovering from an ankle injury and having little pre-season to speak of.
The front man said: “I’m delighted and relieved to be here. It has taken a while but I’m glad it’s finally done.
“When you come to the training ground and the Stadium of Light it obviously shows how big the club is. I’ve played here a few times, and the atmosphere is always good. I can’t fault it.
“It was obviously one of the main things for me – playing Premier League football, especially at a big club like Sunderland. This definitely feels like the next step.
“I’m going to try to bring goals if I can and we’ll hopefully win a few games.”
Despite Fletcher’s desire to keep his career on an upward course, he says it has been a wrench to leave his previous club.
“I had a great relationship with all the players at Wolves,” he said. “We’re good friends. The fans were always great to me too and I wish them all the best.
“Hopefully they can get back up to the Premier League.”
Now though Fletcher has the opportunity to link up with a manager he has admired since he was first breaking into football as a teenager.
He said: “I used to watch Celtic when I was in Scotland and no one has said a bad thing about him. They’ve always praised him.
“He’s had success wherever he has been and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“When I met him for the first time I knew moving to Sunderland was the right thing for me and my career at this time.
“The signings he’s brought in are very positive, in addition to the squad we’ve already got. I watched training yesterday and the boys look very sharp.
“So hopefully we can have a good season, for me personally and the club.”