Head coach ramping up preparations.
Sunderland AFC head coach Paolo Di Canio says hard work during pre-season trips to Italy and Hong Kong will be the key as he looks to integrate his new squad ahead of the Barclays Premier League campaign.
Di Canio’s side are currently in Italy and will travel to South China at the end of the month for the Barclays Asia Trophy.
And the Italian has set out clear objectives to his players ahead of as they prepare for the opening game of the season in just under six weeks’ time.
“I expect hard work as usual because this is the moment that we can have a fantastic season, if we work so hard it means we are going to build a good athleticism, strength, power and resistance,” Di Canio explained.
“It’s obvious that once again it’s crucial that we have the desire and we compete and challenge.
“We can give them more self-belief because it’s obvious that self-belief comes from the brain and the heart and your character.
“It’s different for your brain working with the body empty rather than the body full of energy it helps you believe what you can do; it helps you believe you can win the challenge.”
The former Swindon boss told safc.com that he aims to improve not just individual mentality but also the team’s mentality over the course of the season.
And he says the trips to Italy and Hong Kong will further benefit the team’s understanding of what he wants ahead of the new campaign.
“It’s an important moment for the squad to improve together, to bond and to learn how to suffer together,” the Italian added.
“I know that when they run they don’t want to go tired but during the game it will happen, it will happen often, especially when you play against the likes of Man United; clubs who keep the ball for 70 minutes out of 90, you have to run, to persist, the desire, you have to keep the attention higher, you can do this only if you improve, you adapt yourself in the fatigue.
“This is a period what we call adaptation to fatigue; it means that you have to go over your possibility otherwise it’s difficult to become a better footballer.”
“It will be a good occasion because we will live together for ten days and that is crucial,” he continued. “Also for me after the training session, if there is something wrong, if someone doesn’t understand something I want from him, that is a crucial moment and that can determine what we are going to do during the season.”