Hull City defender Alex Bruce has revealed that the club's promotion to the Premier League finally sunk in when the fixtures were released.
Hull, who finished second in the Championship last season after a tense final day saw their rivals Watford lose, are preparing for just the third Premier League campaign in the club's history.
And the 28-year-old Bruce, who is the son of club manager Steve, cannot wait for the opening day to come around after the publication of the fixtures on Wednesday.
"I can't wait to get back to work and for the season to start," Bruce told the club's official website.
"I think everybody has still been on cloud nine in the last few weeks after what happened on the final day of last season and what we'd achieved still hadn't really sunk in until the fixtures came out this week.
"That was when it really hit home and that was when the excitement really set in. We worked so hard last season for this and when you see you're playing Chelsea and Manchester City in the first three weeks it's great."
Bruce has targeted the club's home fixtures as key in their bid to avoid relegation back to the second tier.
After an opening-day trip to UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea, Hull will welcome Norwich City.
Bruce has already marked down the date of that fixture and is keen to be involved in what he feels could be a memorable occasion.
"Our home games are going to be key," he said.
"The first one against Norwich you would look at as a vital one to try and pick up some points and I can't wait for that one.
"The KC (Stadium) will be bouncing that day – the club's first Premier League home game for three years. It will be a big occasion and I think it could be reminiscent of the Cardiff game on the final day of last season in terms of it being a bit of a carnival atmosphere."
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