Bruce relishing derby days
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said the derby fixtures against Newcastle will have caught the eye after the fixtures were announced. The Black Cats face their bitter rivals, back in the top flight following promotion last season, at St James' Park on October 30 with the return meeting on Wearside scheduled for January 15. "I am sure those two will have been the first games the supporters will have looked for," Bruce told the club's website. "We welcome Newcastle back into the Premier League and look forward to locking horns with them. "Being from the north-east I know how much is at stake in these games." Sunderland open up at home to one of Bruce's former clubs, Birmingham, on the opening day. He added: "We had two competitive games against them last season and I am sure the first day of the season will be no different. I am sure everyone will be looking to get off to a decent start but we will have to work hard. It will be nice to begin the season at home after being away last year."
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