Younes Kaboul says Sunderland will “put everything” into Wednesday’s first pre-season friendly at League Two side Hartlepool.
The Black Cats begin their summer schedule of games with a clash at local north-east rivals Hartlepool after spending 10 days of intensive training in Austria.
Kaboul says everyone in the squad is looking forward to the Victoria Park clash and, while improving fitness levels is the main aim, they also want to win the match and put on a show for the club’s fans.
He said on the club’s website: “We’re looking forward to the game and we will put everything into it. We will work hard with fitness coming first because in the first couple of games that will be the focus.
“We will put a good shift in and be focused, but we also want to win the game.”
He added: “Hartlepool will want to impress against a Premier League side and we know that because we’ve experienced it in the past, but we know how to handle that and for us the first target is to work hard on the pitch.
“We will also get to see the fans again – Watford seems a long time ago – so we’re very happy about that and they’re very welcome to come and see us at Hartlepool and anywhere else we play. It is great to play a local side.”