Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson says a shared vision was the reason he signed a new contract with the Premier League club.
The Swede was the only one of eight out-of-contract players to extend their stays at the Stadium of Light at the end of last season, which saw Sunderland finish 14th after appointing Gus Poyet to replace Paolo Di Canio in October.
And Larsson, who signed a three-year deal in June, revealed that a discussion with Poyet over the direction of the club proved decisive in his decision to remain on Wearside.
"Of course, it was a big decision," he is quoted as saying by the Sunderland Echo. "I've been in England a long time and been at Sunderland for three years.
"The three years have been very up and down, so it was a big decision when your contract runs out and you figure out what to do next.
"But once we sat down and talked things through with the manager and the people around the club, it became quite clear very quickly that we wanted the same thing.
"And when you do want the same thing, these things sort themselves out and it did this time.
"Since the manager came in, we've all had a new lease of life and we're all looking forwards to this season now.
"Hopefully we can do a lot better than what we have in recent years."
Sunderland get their Premier League campaign under way against West Brom on Saturday.
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