DAVID Vaughan said there was never a dull moment working for Ian Holloway as he acclimatises to life under Sunderland counterpart Steve Bruce.
The 28-year-old Wales international was plunged into the goldfish bowl of North-East football when he was persuaded to continue his career on Wearside following his decision to leave Blackpool, and he can expect to play in front of crowds of 40,000 or more at the Stadium of Light.
However, after two years working under the inimitable Holloway at Bloomfield Road, Vaughan is anticipating a different approach from Black Cats boss Bruce.
He said: “I don’t think anyone can compare to Ollie, to be honest.
“I left on good terms. He has been really good to me and very supportive, so I can only thank him.”
Asked if he was missing his former manager, Vaughan replied: “Possibly a little bit. There was never a dull day with Ollie around.”
It was Vaughan’s form at Blackpool which alerted a series of suitors and Bruce has made no secret of his delight at snapping up a man he believes was one of the Bosman deals of the summer.
His partnership with Charlie Adam was pivotal to the Seasiders’ efforts to retain their Barclays Premier League status and earned Vaughan plenty of Premier League admirers, including West Brom which seemed his likeliest destination until the Baggies’ late change of heart.
And he will always be grateful for the stage Blackpool gave him to prove himself at the highest level.
Vaughan said: “Blackpool surprised a lot of teams and the media last season with the football we played. People have noticed that and have chosen the players they want to take out of the team.
“Charlie (Adam) got a lot of the headlines. I just like to stay a bit under the radar and just play football. Obviously being relegated was a big disappointment, but to get the chance to come to a big club like this was something exciting.”
Vaughan played against Sunderland in both top-flight games last season, including an eventful 2-0 win for the Tangerines in the North-East on December 28.
The Black Cats mustered 32 efforts on goal, 16 of them on target, yet failed to score, and a double from DJ Campbell left Bruce scratching his head.
Vaughan said: “I haven’t played in many games like that. We were a bit lucky.” Sunderland got their revenge with a 2-1 win in the return fixture less than four weeks later.
Having played such a key role in Blackpool’s rise to prominence, Vaughan admits it was a wrench to leave, but the chance to join a club with far greater resources and to consolidate his status as a regular for Wales proved too good to turn down.
Vaughan said: “I have missed a lot of games for Wales for various reasons, and I want to try to play as many as I can before the end of my career. It can only help if I am playing in the Premier League every week.”