Seb ready for big kick-off

by Stuart Vose

Midfielder relishing Arsenal test.

Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson admits now that pre-season is over Sunderland can concentrate on the season ahead.

Following the final game of Sunderland's pre-season programme, where they slipped to defeat at Leicester City, the Swede acknowledged that such games were only important for players to gain fitness.

Larsson told "Pre-season is over now and fitness levels are up.

"Obviously, when you look at the results it's been quite disappointing, but it was pre-season and results aren't so important.

"We put all that behind us and we look ahead to the new season now, we're looking forward to getting started."

Sunderland return to Barclays Premier League action next week with a glamorous opening-day clash with Arsenal at the Emirates.

"It'll be good to finally play competitive games again," Larsson continued.

"Going to a big club like Arsenal on the first day is a great way to kick the new season off.

"It'll be a tough game and it will be tough to go there and come away with something.

"We've done it before and we're looking forward to the challenge.

"I feel fit and mentally I'm ready for the new season."