Sunderland manager Steve Bruce optimistic ahead of Premier League season: If you compare the squad four or five years ago it's unrecognisable

Black cats boss believes that the club has made progress over the close season and hopes the club now has the strength to build on last seasons tenth place finish.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has said that the club's new signings have strengthened the squad and he is looking forward to a strong Premier league campaign, particularly noting the importance of capturing former Manchester United pair Wes Brown and John O'Shea.

Bruce has been busy in the transfer window and now believes the squad he has put into place is as good as the club has ever seen.

"I was given the remit of making Sunderland an established Premier League club. Now I have to look at how far we can go. How far can we take this adventure?" he hold the club's official website.

"If you compare the squad four or five years ago, it's unrecognisable."

"My aim as the manager is still the same as it was when I walked through the door - improving us and finishing in a better position than the previous season."

Last season saw the clubs squad plagued by injuries and at one stage, the side did not have one recognised striker fit to play.

The signings of Wes Brown and John O'Shea from champions Manchester United went a long way to doing this and Bruce believes the fact that the club was able to attract the pair shows how far they have come.

"A few years ago it wouldn't have been possible to attract two players who have played hundreds of games each for Manchester United," Bruce added

"Now it is and that's been the big thing of the summer for me."

"I know it took weeks for the deals to get over the line because of holidays and all the rest of it, but they didn't say no to me," he continued.

"In fact, they were very interested and we beat off competition to sign them. That proves we're going in the right direction. The squad has a fantastic flavour to it now, and the hope is we can gel it all together and have a fantastic season."