Carlos eyeing fresh start

by Ashley Houghton

Spaniard believes squad are revitalised ahead of new campaign.

Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar says conditions in Hong Kong for the Black Cats’ pre-season tour have been the toughest yet.

Cuellar was with the squad for the training camp in Italy prior to travelling to the Far East and he says the humidity in Hong Kong made training even harder than their ten days in the Italian heat.

“Italy was very hot, and it wasn’t easy but easier than here, because here it’s the humidity because you sweat a lot,” Cuellar said.

“You had to be hydrated all the time because you lost a lot of vitamins and fluid so it was very important to keep that to a high level to perform.”

The 31-year-old made 28 appearances in his debut campaign on Wearside and he is hoping to feature as regularly under new head coach Paolo Di Canio.

And the Spaniard has been impressed with Di Canio’s ideas ahead of the new campaign, claiming it is a "fresh start" for the Black Cats squad.

“He’s had ideas since the first day he came in last season and he’s trying to keep that kind of idea and trying to improve on a few things,” he added.

“We are working to try to play football because now the situation is different from the last part of last season.

“It’s a new year, a fresh start, and everybody has confidence to play again.

“We are not 100% at the level we can be yet but everybody who is given the opportunity to play will give all their heart."