Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has pleaded with the club's fans to give prospective new signing Titus Bramble a chance to prove himself.
The 28-year Wigan defender was in Portugal at the Black Cats' Algarve training camp putting the final touches to his move to Wearside - with opinion divided back at home following his infamous blunder-plagued spell with derby rivals Newcastle.
However, Bruce, who worked with Bramble during his time with the Latics, is confident he would be able to reproduce his best form at the Stadium of Light.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "I thought long and hard about signing him, long and hard because I knew it might be a difficult one for Sunderland fans and for him.
"But the great thing is the lad's got plenty of bottle - he wanted to come here, he wanted to play for me and Sunderland and I feel sure that Sunderland fans will recognise that and give him a fair crack of the whip.
"At the end of the day Sunderland fans want the same as me and the same as Titus Bramble, which is success for this club. If Titus shows - as I think he will - that he can make us better, then I don't think supporters will have a problem accepting him."