'I’m very excited and of course it’s fantastic to start at home in front of our own fans'
Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio says there’s plenty of hard work after being handed his first full Barclays Premier League schedule on Wednesday morning.
The Black Cats will kick off the 2013-14 campaign with a home game against Fulham on August 17, followed by trips to Southampton and Crystal Palace.
Di Canio’s players will return to pre-season training next month ahead of the trip to Hong Kong to play in the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament.
And the Italian is fully focused on developing his squad and says they will be raring to go when Fulham come calling in August.
“I’m very excited and of course it’s fantastic to start at home in front of our own fans,” said Di Canio, who has added Swedish winger David Moberg Karlsson to his squad.
“But there is a lot of work to do between now and Fulham; there are many steps.
“We have to integrate the new players into the team, continue to build and develop our squad and complete our pre-season training.
“There is a lot of hard work but we are ready for it.”