JOHN O’Shea says Sunderland’s players have fully bought into Paolo Di Canio’s hard graft philosophy.
This comes after being given a rare day off this week in the wake of their back-to-back wins over Newcastle and Everton.
One of the Italian’s first actions on taking over at the Stadium of Light this month was to cancel Wednesday as a standard day off.
But stand-in skipper O’Shea insists that was never the problem some observers predicted it might be.
“Look, if we’d had to be in the extra day this week, the lads would have fully taken to it,” he said.
“They might not have been happy deep down inside, but if it meant keeping your place in the Premier League, the lads wouldn’t have any days off.
“There’s never a problem like that.
“We are paid to be professional enough like that, that’s never going to be an issue.
“The dedication is there - as the manager stressed after the game - the application the lads have put in, and just the focus and concentration.
“It’s not that he wants us running everywhere during the training sessions, just for those few little moments he wants us fully-focused.”