sport

Bridcutt eager to impress

Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt says he is eager to impress next season after a mixed start to life at the Stadium of Light.

The 25-year-old, who joined from Brighton on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January, featured 12 times in the Premier League following his switch as Sunderland secured their top-flight status.

However, after making his debut in the 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby win over Newcastle, some of Bridcutt's displays came under question as he failed to be on the winning side in his following seven games.

Bridcutt briefly found himself out of the team before returning to action in Sunderland's final four matches of the campaign, and he is now excited by the prospect of a fresh start this summer.

"With a lot of players out of contract this summer, you obviously expect there's going to be a lot of people coming in and out of the club over the summer. And I'm looking forward to it," he told the Sunderland Echo.

"I'm looking forward to next season so I can get a fresh start and go again.

"Last season, my season was stop and go, I was injured, I was left out of the side before the transfer and then I had to step up a level and come into a struggling side.

"As well as that, a lot happened off the pitch with my family soon after I arrived. So, without a doubt, I'm looking forward to pre-season.

"In pre-season, I'll be able to get all the preparation right, hopefully, and we'll work on how everyone fits into the side rather than having to adjust every week because we're struggling and working to get must-win results."

Bridcutt was also full of praise for fellow midfielder Lee Cattermole and insists that the pair can line up alongside each other.

"I really rate him as a player and there are things I can learn from him, but, at the same time, I think we've shown there's no reason why we can't play in the same team together," he said.

"And I'm really keen to show next season that I have something to contribute in the Premier League.

"Given the circumstances, I'm pleased with the way I adjusted to stepping up to the Premier League, but I'm sure I can be a lot better next season and so can Sunderland."