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The Welsh midfielder made just 17 Premier League starts last term after being sidelined on several occasions, but hopes to feature more prominently this time round

Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan hopes to avoid the injury troubles which limited him to just 17 Premier League starts for the Black Cats last season.

The Welshman damaged ankle ligaments and had two hernia operations during his first year at the Stadium of Light after joining from Blackpool.

However, he has now underlined his desire to put those difficulties behind him, telling BBC Newcastle: "I had a few injuries that hampered my season and interrupted the flow.

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"Hopefully I can keep injury free and keep a place in the team."

Vaughan featured in his first match of the season for Sunderland’s reserve side in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Tuesday as one of three permitted players over the age of 21.

"We had some good chances, their goalkeeper has made a couple of saves and we had some poor finishing," Vaughan continued.

"But it was a good job it was a reserve game and we can learn from our mistakes.

"On the balance of the game, we felt we could have won it and we had quite a few chances in the second half but 2-2 was probably a fair result."

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