Sunderland's Niall Quinn optimistic about club's chances of top10 finish
10 August 2009 01:42
Quinn's club narrowly avoided relegation last season but the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager and a flurry of new signings have prompted a wave of optimism around the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland kick off their new season at Bolton on Saturday and a new backroom team that Bruce brought from Wigan and four new players have meant that the club is setting its sights on a top-10 finish this term rather than a third successive relegation skirmish.
Talk As preparations for the new campaign gather momentum, Quinn has seen the club transfer record smashed this summer with the signing of Darren Bent from Tottenham on a four-year deal that could rise to £16 million and is a statement of intent on Wearside.
Bent became Sunderland's fourth signing of the summer following the arrival of striker Fraizer Campbell from Manchester United, former Marseille captain Lorik Cana and Paraguay international captain Paulo Da Silva.
"We've got some nice footballers at this club," he said. "I've already spoken about the need for strength and resilience and I'm delighted with the way things are going.
"I can't wait for the season to start and I am looking forward to seeing Darren in action along with our other new signings.
"We are pleased to welcome Fraizer and Lorik to the club, as well as Paulo Da Silva who will be here as soon as his paperwork comes through."
However, it is the capture of Bent that has given Quinn most satisfaction.
"I'm absolutely thrilled that Darren has chosen to join our football club, " Quinn added. "It has been so refreshing to see someone who gets what we're about and who wants to play in front of the massive audience we have here.
"He wanted to wear the red and white stripes so badly and that was the key for us on top of his natural ability, which goes without saying.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the reaction of the fans; I think everyone realises what a good player Darren is. He was desperate to come here. This is a really strong signing which gives us the scope to be better than we were last year."
With the new Premier League season starting this weekend, Sunderland are also closing in on Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin and Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole who served Bruce with distinction last term at the JJB Stadium.