Ex-Sunderland defender Michael Turner is relishing his return to the Stadium of Light tomorrow and hailed the 'huge' club and fanbase.
The 34-year-old centre back enjoyed three years in the Premier League with Sunderland between 2009 and 2012, making over 75 appearances.
And he is looking forward to his return to Wearside with Southend United on Saturday afternoon.
"It’s always nice to go back to one of your old clubs, especially a huge club like Sunderland," said Turner.
"They will be disappointed to be in League One and I think a lot of people will be surprised they’re at this level, including myself, but it can happen in football.
"It’s tough for them and their fans but they will be looking to bounce back this year and they’ve had a good start.
"It will be a good atmosphere and one you’re probably not used to in League One but you go with the flow and there’s not too much to worry about.
"Once you’re on the pitch you’re just concentrating on your job.
"It doesn’t matter if two people are watching or 50,000, you just have to get on with your jobs and what you have to do.
"But Sunderland are a huge club with a huge fanbase so it’s a game to look forward to.
“I enjoyed it at Sunderland, I had a good start and a good first season. I got quite a bad injury in the second season and it was a setback for me there.
“But it’s a huge club and the facilities are top class," he told the Southend Echo.
Turner is expected to start at the Stadium of Light in place of the injured Harry Lennon.