Sunderland summer signing Seb Larsson has hinted that Steve Bruce's position at the club was a huge factor in his decision to move to the Stadium of Light.
The Swedish international has penned a three-year deal with the Black Cats, moving to the north East from Birmingham after his contract expired with one of last season's relegated Barclays Premier League side.
Bruce signed the player at St Andrew's originally back in 2007, taking the player to the Midlands from Arsenal for £1 million after an originally successful loan spell.
"The manager has done well wherever he's been and this club is heading in the right direction," said the midfielder in praise of Bruce.
"Things worked well with myself and the manager when we were both at Birmingham and when he showed an interest in taking me here it made that decision a little bit easier. I'm not surprised to see the progress being made here."
Fellow summer signing Craig Gardner, who also moved to the club from Birmingham, is happy to see Larsson make the same move, and is confident the pair can forge a similar relationship for Sunderland as they did with the Blues.
With competition for places at the club fierce despite the exit of Jordan Henderson, Gardner thinks the attitude of Larsson could be key to him enjoying success once again under the stewardship of Bruce.
"Seb will never say die; he's a player with a great attitude. He might be from Sweden but he's like a British player now. He is a top lad and I can't wait to play in the same team as him again."