SUNDERLAND’S players will come back next season better, stronger and fitter than before.
That’s the promise of head coach Paolo Di Canio, who says he is relishing the chance of getting to grips with the Black Cats squad from the very first moments of a campaign.
“The fact that I can start the pre-season with my players next season helps a lot,” he admitted.
“I have big plans for next season and how I want us be and I need to get my message across. But we will do that this summer.
“When you spend 35 nearly 40 days together before the start of the season, as we will, and every day you can have double sessions where you deliver your message, then you know it will be understood.”
Di Canio has made a big impact on the lifestyles of his players in just a few short weeks, with everything from exercise to down-time to diet.
But he says changes need to be made in the close season to ensure he has a united group of players who all understand and want to be part of the new Sunderland he is determined to create. “The job was difficult when I first came to Sunderland because the mentality when I came in here was difficult,” he said.
“It is still difficult because you can’t change everything in a few weeks.
“You have to change something to get results and that’s what we focused on.
“But in the future it will be different and, I’m sure, exciting
“The techniques and systems we introduced paid off when I went to Swindon and we won.”