Midfielder out to prove his worth
Stoke assistant boss Dave Kemp believes midfielder Wilson Palacios can reap the rewards of a full pre-season at the Britannia Stadium.
Palacios joined the Black Cats on deadline day last summer from Tottenham for £6million, but he failed to make much of an impact after arriving at the club while still feeling the effects of a knee injury.
However, the 27-year-old's fitness problems are now behind him and the club's management are confident he can finally deliver his true potential in the upcoming campaign, with the help of some hard graft before next month's big kick-off.
Kemp said: "We certainly hope so, that's the plan. He is in among the group working very hard and we hope to see the benefit on the pitch.
"Last season when he came to us he had to get over an injury and we had to get him fit. He was always behind the game and it is unfair to judge him on that.
"Hopefully we will see the benefit of him training with us in pre-season.
"He is a quality player. We want to see the best of him, but I am sure that he also wants to show the best of himself to the Stoke fans. I am sure that is what he is working towards."
The Honduras international played in the first half of Thursday's friendly win over FC Sion and he is again likely to feature heavily in City's three match tour of the United States.