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Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 20:00

Friendly Match

Victoria Park, Hartlepool United

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 19:30

Friendly Match

Di Canio plans gradual change

Paolo Di Canio has admitted it would be too much of a risk to revolutionise the way Sunderland work at such a late stage of the season, and will develop his own style slowly.

Last Updated: 12/04/13 at 18:29 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: Not planning an immediate revolution at Sunderland

Paolo Di Canio: Not planning an immediate revolution at Sunderland

Having been brought in to replace Martin O'Neill, the only challenge that matters to Di Canio in the next few weeks is keeping the club in the Premier League.

He therefore understands that any major changes will have to wait until the summer as he does not want to disrupt the squad.

"I didn't come here to make a complete revolution in habit," the Italian said in the Daily Mirror ahead of Sunday's derby game against Newcastle United.

"We don't want such a risk as at this stage of the season you can cause problems to the players.

"So I can't work in the way I would like to do. That is very difficult, you have to do it gradually.

"At this moment I have to make sure the few changes I make are the right ones."

Di Canio criticised the fitness levels of his players after his first game in charge, a 2-1 loss to Chelsea, and has subjected his squad to tests this week.

The former Swindon manager said: "I used to work with a League Two side - League Two players and League One players.

"Here, we had some tests on players that have played for seven or eight years at the top level.

"We did simple tests that are for everybody and we found someone with a few difficulties. That is not acceptable at this level in my opinion.

"My opinion is we can be much more fit."

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