Juande Ramos is determined to make a positive start to the season - regardless of how the fixtures have fallen.
The fixture computer has lined-up a trip to the Riverside Stadium and Middlesbrough on the opening day on August 16 in the provisional list for the 2008-09 Barclays Premier League campaign published on Monday morning.
That trip to Teeside is followed by another game against North-East opposition as Roy Keane's Sunderland provide the opposition for our first home game on August 23.
"It doesn't matter what order we play our games - every game is important to us and we have to play everyone over the course of the season," Head Coach Juande told us exclusively after the fixtures were announced.
"The only thing I would say is that it would have been good to have begun the new campaign at home in front of our supporters.
"The opening games of a new season are important as we want to make the best start possible, keep confidence high and put ourselves in a strong position in the standings."
The eye-catching match of the opening weeks is the trip to Chelsea on the third weekend of the season, Saturday August 30.
"We play Chelsea early on and I think it will be a significant match for both teams even at that stage," added Juande.
"From previous experience I am sure it will be a passionate contest in London and I hope the team will go into the game on the back of having collected positive results in our first two games."
Remember, this is a provisional fixture list and all fixtures are subject to change.
Full provisional fixture list - CLICK HERE...