Sunderland can force their way into European competition, manager Steve Bruce has insisted.
The Black Cats finished 13th in the Premier League last season, well short of the Europa League places, but the Sunderland boss remains upbeat.
“Well, the one thing we won’t do is [qualify] by our disciplinary record,” joked Bruce.
“Of course you see something like Fulham, and teams like that, who’ve done it,” said Bruce. “That’s got to be a realistic target.”
“The cups is another one,” he said. “We’re capable. You never know.”
Bruce’s main focus ahead of the coming season remains cementing Sunderland’s status as a top-flight team, however.
“Last season we had a wonderful start, had a dismal winter, and had an OK finish,” said Bruce.
“We had a chance on the last day to finish in the top 10, and that’s got to be the aim.
“[We need to] establish ourselves and become an established Premier League team, rather than a ‘yo-yo’ team who have a flirt with the Premier League for a couple of years and go back down again.”