PAOLO Di Canio says he wants his side to play exciting, attacking football this season and he believes a 4-2-4 formation will provide it.
The head coach has overseen a revolution in both personnel and mentality at the Stadium of Light this summer and although he hopes for two or three more signings to complete the transformation before the transfer window closes, he believes he now has the basics in place to take the club forward in the 2013-14 campaign.
The arrivals of left-winger Emanuele Giaccherini and powerful striker Jozy Altidore in particular have given the head coach more latitude to pursue an attack-minded game.
And he says the key now is finding a creative play-maker to help everyone else tick.
He said: “We want to attack, we want to entertain and we want to score goals and the players we have brought in will make us much more able to do that.
“When we have the ball, I want us to be 4-2-4 with the wingers, pushing forward to join the attack and the full-backs moving up.
“I’m excited about the new season because I have confidence in my players and I know that the way we are going to play, we will never give up in games.
“And I hope too that the fans will enjoy coming to watch us play because we want to give them a team they can be proud of.”
Di Canio does feel though that if the club can secure a physical play-maker in the centre of the park, they can go on to be even more effective going forward.
“We have the players to do well but that type of player is vital to us, simply because we do want to play 4-2-4,” he explained.
“We have had talks about it but the idea of getting in a midfielder who could be part of a midfield three is not what I am after.
“I want only two in central midfield and because of that, that signing has to be someone who is physical and confident but who can also pass the ball very, very well and help start attacks.
“In my own mind, I have a very, very clear idea of how I want to play and it will be an attacking style.
“We have brought in players with a view to playing that way and any more players we bring in will also be bought with a view to playing to that strategy.
“I want more players but I am happy with the players we have brought in and happy with the intelligence they have shown in learning how we want to play next season.
“It might take a bit of time to get all the new signings to settle in but this is something we had to do if we were going to improve the club and I believe things are in place now for us to go on and have a successful season.”