SOUTHEND United centre-back Michael Turner cannot wait to head back to Sunderland this weekend.

Turner spent three seasons in the Premier League with the Black Cats, making 77 appearances.

And the 34-year-old is relishing a return to the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

“It’s always nice to go back to one of your old clubs, especially a huge club like Sunderland,” said Turner.

“They will be disappointed to be in League One and I think a lot of people will be surprised they’re at this level, including myself, but it can happen in football.

“It’s tough for them and their fans but they will be looking to bounce back this year and they’ve had a good start.”

However, the ninth-placed Shrimpers have also started to click into gear.

Chris Powell’s side have triumphed in five of their last seven games.

And Turner is pleased to see Blues get back on track after an inconsistent start to the campaign.

“We’re pleased with where we are,” said Turner.

“We’ve had one defeat in seven games and we felt that should have been a draw.

“Hopefully we can take that form up there and make it a good game.”

Sunderland are third in the standings and their fine start - after back-to-back relegations - has seen the fans flocking to get behind them.

The Black Cats are averaging more than 30,000 at home this term.

But Turner believes it will be business as usual once the game gets underway.

“It will be a good atmosphere and one you’re probably not used to in League One but you go with the flow and there’s not too much to worry about,” said the defender.

“Once you’re on the pitch you’re just concentrating on your job.

“It doesn’t matter if two people are watching or 50,000, you just have to get on with your jobs and what you have to do.

“But Sunderland are a huge club with a huge fanbase so it’s a game to look forward to.”

Turner looks set to replace the injured Harry Lennon at the heart of the Shrimpers’ back four.

And he is looking to add to his already fond memories of playing in Sunderland.

“I enjoyed it at Sunderland,” said Turner.

“I had a good start and a good first season. I got quite a bad injury in the second season and it was a setback for me there.

“But it’s a huge club and the facilities are top class.”