CRAIG Gardner insists Sunderland’s players are happy to go a little stir crazy if it helps their preparations for the new campaign.
The Black Cats have been tucked away at a secluded training base in the sleepy German village of Barsinghausen since arriving on the Continent six days ago.
The complex is home to the German national team and provides all the facilities necessary for Steve Bruce’s staff to get Sunderland’s players up to speed.
While it hardly offers much in the entertainment stakes, summer signing Gardner, right, is glad Sunderland’s party have no distractions during their stay in Germany.
The former Birmingham midfielder said: “It’s good that it’s tucked away and we can eat, sleep and drink football.
“We’ve come away to get some good training sessions in and that’s what we’re doing.
“For the new signings, we’re getting to know the lads even more, too. There’s a great bunch of lads here at the minute who have welcomed us to the club.
“All pre-seasons are tough, but none of the lads are moaning – we’re running our socks off.
“We’re getting our rest when we need it and it’s all good.”
Gardner also felt last night’s result was harsh on Bruce’s men, with Sunderland posing much more of an attacking threat in the second half.
“Everybody put a good shift in last night. They’re two weeks ahead of us and we’ve only played three games.
“We could have easily got an equaliser in the second half and I don’t think 3-1 was the right result because we were cruising in the first half before the first one went in.”