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Bridge grateful for Sunderland loan switch

The 31-year-old has only enjoyed regular first-team football in fits and starts since joining Chelsea in 2003, and often found himself on the sidelines at Manchester City.

Bridge has previously spent time on loan at Fulham and West Ham in order to regain match fitness, and he sees his latest move as another chance to get back to his best.

"I’m delighted to make the move, I’m grateful for the chance and want to go out and work hard," he said.

"The club is on the up, I’m just excited to start playing football and playing a few games.

"I have looked at the fixtures and this month’s quite busy with a game every few days. That’s going to be good for me."

The Black Cats face Norwich (for which Bridge was registered just in time), before making trips to Stoke and Middlesbrough ahead of entertaining Arsenal.

And the full-back is well aware that getting back into the swing of things will not be easy, but is confident in his abilities.

"It's going to be difficult, the first game always is, but I'm quite experienced so I'd like to think I can settle in quickly.

"I've had one training session under my belt with the lads - I did a bit of running too as I think they wanted to check my fitness!

"Hopefully I can start but I will just be happy with a chance to get on the pitch."

By Phil Haigh