Fabio Borini has already been struck by Sam Allardyce’s attention to detail after less than a fortnight working with the new Sunderland manager.
Borini’s two stints at the Stadium of Light have totalled less than 12 months, yet he has had FOUR different bosses during those spells – Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and now Allardyce.
This week has been the first sustained opportunity for Allardyce to work with his full squad after half of his players were away on international duty when he started work at the Academy of Light.
But Borini says Allardyce has immediately showed himself to be meticulous in his preparations – comparing the ex-West Ham boss with former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who the striker worked under at Chelsea.
“It’s something that you notice because the details always make the difference,” said Borini.
“I’ve played at the big clubs before and that’s what makes the difference between the big teams.
“I found out with Ancelotti and the big managers, that they were caring about every single thing from set plays to throw-ins.
“That’s what the manager has been doing here since day one.
“Obviously he has talked to most of the players and told us what he wants from us because we need to be clear with each other to achieve our targets, which is to be higher up in the league from where we are now.
“He’s preparing the game with detail – he’s big on the details – which is important at this moment because we need every single thing to help us.”
Allardyce desperately needs a reward for that planning though, with winless Sunderland’s plight at the basement looking increasingly ominous, heading into Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.
Borini dismisses suggestions that this is a blip at the start of the season, with almost a quarter of the campaign already gone.
But the £10million summer signing is convinced that Sunderland’s squad is stronger now than it was in 2013-14, when Gus Poyet oversaw Sunderland’s “miracle” escape from the drop.
“It’s not early days, because we’ve played nine games,” stressed the Italian.
“If we think it’s always early days, we will run out of games to recover, so early days are finished.
“But the first time I was here it was an even worse situation.
“Yes, we need to worry because we haven’t won yet, but to have a derby in this situation and to have the possibility to win the derby is a great chance to take.
“We have more depth in the squad now (than during his loan spell).
“Even if we picked the starting XI, I believe the players on the bench can still change the game.
“In the first season I was here, that was more difficult to find. Apart from the 12-13 players, there wasn’t much depth.
“We had some injuries where we had to bring in some of the younger players, which is good for them, but if you need the points it’s more difficult.”