Fulham Captain Brede Hangeland says he is ready and excited for the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season to begin.
The Whites have had a busy pre-season campaign with a tour to Costa Rica, a trip to an alpine resort in Austria and some European friendlies against Werder Bremen, Real Betis and Parma. But now the time has come to focus on domestic matters as Sunderland await as our first game of the season on Saturday.
“It will be great to be back playing in the Barclays Premier League,” Brede told the official website. “That is why we have been running around all summer, to get fit and ready for the new season and I feel like there has been enough friendlies and enough training, so we are all raring to go.”
Our northern opposition have brought in a number of new faces over the summer, with new manager Paolo Di Canio trying to make his mark and Hangeland says that Fulham will be keen to take advantage of any uncertainty in the Sunderland defence early on to make sure we start the season on a positive note.
“Sunderland will be a tough game for us, but it will be a tough game for them as well,” he added. “It’s a very competitive league and will be a totally different type of game to the friendlies we have been playing over the summer. I’m expecting everything to be much quicker, more competitive and hopefully we have the quality to get some points on the board early on.
“Obviously we try and improve every year and that is important because the teams around us are strengthening all the time. The league is becoming more competitive every year and we need to try and take a step forward to ensure that we can do better. I am certainly confident that we can do that.”
When asked what his expectations for the coming campaign are, our skipper remained modest but insisted that the side would be looking to better our 12th placed finish from the previous season.
“In terms of ambitions, I am very modest,” he said. “I know how hard the Premier League is so the day we have 40 points on the board will make me very happy, and we will be looking to get that done as early as possible in the season then hopefully we can push for a higher finish.
“I don’t really scream and shout, as that’s not my style, but I try and do my best on the pitch and lead by example. I hope to inspire my teammates by doing that and I hope we can look back at the end of the season and say that we have all done our jobs and been successful.”