New Sunderland boss Simon Grayson is confident the club’s upcoming friendlies will give him the chance to put his stamp on the club’s first team.
The former Leeds United, Blackpool, Huddersfield Town and Preston North End boss is eager to help the club return to the top flight after taking over last week.
He watched his side beat Bury 2-0 in a friendly on Friday night, with Josh Maja scoring twice.
Sunderland will take on Hibernian on Sunday before further fixtures against Livingston and St Johnstone.
Although the fixtures will come thick and fast, Grayson believes it gives him the perfect opportunity to put his message across to his new players.
He told the club’s official website: “It is good to see what the players can bring to the table. “In the second half (at Bury), the younger players performed very well.
Josh (Maja) took his goals very well, but there were some encouraging performances elsewhere too.
“(Bury was only the) first game of pre-season and it is out of the way now and we know there is a lot of hard work to get us to where we need to get to.
“The first 10 days of pre-season is all about the fitness work and getting the work into the legs of the players.
We have a game Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday so it is more about concentrating on the tactical stuff and how I want to play.”
Sunderland will be hoping a solid pre-season will stand them in good stead for the new season and they can be backed to win the Championship title at odds of 15.00.