Paolo Di Canio has warned his Sunderland players there is plenty of hard work ahead as they prepare for the new Barclays Premier League season.
The Italian is currently in the process of overhauling the squad which only just survived in the top flight last season, having added teenage Swedish winger David Moberg Karlsson to the mix last night. However, while revealing his excitement after seeing the fixtures for his first full campaign unveiled, he admitted there is much to be done before the Black Cats kick off at home to Fulham on August 17.
Di Canio told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "I'm very excited and of course it's fantastic to start at home in front of our own fans. But there is a lot of work to do between now and Fulham. There are many steps."
He added: "We have to integrate the new players into the team, continue to build and develop our squad and complete our pre-season training.
"There is a lot of hard work but we are ready for it."
Nineteen-year-old IFK Gothenburg midfielder Karlsson is one of a series of young players to have been recruited by Di Canio so far, with Altrincham striker Duncan Watmore and Le Havre's El-Hadji Ba having also joined the club's development squad.
In addition, senior men Valentin Roberge, Cabral and Modibo Diakite will become Black Cats when their respective deals at Maritimo, Basle and Lazio expire at the end of the month.