Gardner: No fitness issues

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner insists there are no problems with the state of the squad's fitness.

Last Updated: 09/04/13 at 10:49 Post Comment

Craig Gardner: Sunderland midfielder says there are no fitness issues at the Sta

Craig Gardner: Sunderland midfielder says there are no fitness issues at the Sta

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

New boss Paolo Di Canio, who has taken over the reins from Martin O'Neill, claimed his players were "not the fittest team in the world" following Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

But Gardner told the Northern Echo: "We work hard every day, no matter what manager comes in, we're professional footballers.

"I don't know where this has come from, that Paolo Di Canio will work us harder, because every club you're at, there's only one place you'll be found out, and that is on the pitch.

"There's been people talking and chatting about this, but it's a load of rubbish basically. The gaffer's come in and it's the same.

"Every football club has to work hard. We were working hard, we have to if we want to stay in the Premier League. But the gaffer's been brilliant with all of us since he arrived."

Sunderland are only out of the Premier League's bottom three on goal difference after losing at Stamford Bridge but the prospect of relegation does not concern Gardner.

He said: "Without sounding big-headed, I've not thought about being relegated. I haven't thought about anything like that - all I've thought about is how high we're going to finish in the table.

"We've got ability in abundance, we've got work-rate, and we'll get there. I thought the performance at the weekend showed that, I thought we were brilliant."

Gardner will miss Sunday's Tyne-and-Wear derby against Newcastle because of suspension - he incurred a 10th booking of the season during Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea for fouling former Magpie Demba Ba, who he feels was guilty of play-acting.

Gardner added: "It's not the start that I wanted, but it's not a yellow card. It was a fair tackle. He's just rolled around and forced the booking."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Eden Hazard: 'Chelsea need Diego Costa'

Eden Hazard admits Chelsea 'need' Diego Costa as he faces a three-match ban for a stamp on Emre Can on Tuesday night.

Copa del Rey: Luis Enrique says Neymar had to be substituted against Atletico Madrid to prevent injury

Luis Enrique says he had to substitute Neymar to prevent him from being injured in an ugly cup tie with Atletico.

Capital One Cup: Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino pleased to overcome challenging tie with Sheffield United

Mauricio Pochettino dedicated Tottenham's Capital One Cup semi-final triumph over Sheffield United to the fans.

Mail Box

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company