Paolo Di Canio makes a meal out of Sunderland team spirit

TOGETHERNESS: Simon  Mignolet

TOGETHERNESS: Simon Mignolet

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SIMON Mignolet today revealed how Paolo Di Canio’s message of unity in the survival battle has even extended to the dining room.

New Sunderland head coach Di Canio has wasted no time implementing his core beliefs and rules at the Academy of Light, with a principle objective of creating a collective responsibility and team togetherness among players teetering on the edge of the relegation zone.

Di Canio’s approach has stretched as far as the canteen, where the Black Cats players are required to sit and eat as one big group after training, with no-one allowed to leave the table until given permission.

Goalkeeper Mignolet has experienced a similar approach in the Belgian national team set-up and believes it is a sensible philosophy, particularly with only goal difference separating Sunderland from the bottom three.

Mignolet said: “The gaffer wants us all to be together and to go out as a team onto the training pitch.

“He wants us to do everything together, just the same as his tactical work he does on the pitch.

“He wants us to eat in the canteen together as a group too. If we eat, he wants us to eat all together

“It’s similar to what I know with the Belgian national team, how we do it in Europe. I think he brought that over from Italy, probably.

“He wants us to win games not by individuals, but as a whole team.”

SEE Wednesday’s Mail for full story and more Sunderland and North East football news