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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 12:14 UK

Ferdinand hopeful of debut chance

Anton Ferdinand
Ferdinand joined Sunderland from West Ham for around 8m in August

Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand has said he is fit and ready to make his full debut against Wigan Athletic in the Premier League on Saturday.

Ferdinand, 23, came through an hour of Tuesday's 4-0 reserve-team win against Hartlepool unscathed and remains hopeful of making a start this weekend.

"It's all about getting a game under my belt," he told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"My hamstring feels fine, my lungs feel fine and I look forward to hopefully being involved on Saturday."

The former England Under-21 international has also predicted a bright future for the club's academy talents, and hopes to see those youngsters make the step up to Roy Keane's senior squad.

"I've been through what they've been through, especially at West Ham which is a great club for youth," he said.

"What I've seen and what I've trained with, the players here are as good as those at West Ham.

"If their attitude is spot on and they work hard at their game there's no reason why they can't get into the first team."

see also
Keane sealed the move - Ferdinand
02 Sep 08 |  Sunderland

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