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."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is all good fun, but anyone who thinks United are 4th best in England for anything more than a blip is properly f***ing mental. And Domenech is properly f***ing mental.

megabrow (cufc)
Schneiderlin must join United - Domenech

I

f the answer is Matt Phillips, the question should never be Who is one of your major transfer targets?

jelasfirsttouch
The Twosome Gossip

I

s this Chris Smalling playing the 'Race' card?

hump3.
Smalling wants United race

Footer 365

Roberto Firmino eyeing trophy success at Liverpool after saying bye to Hoffenheim

Liverpool's £29m summer signing Roberto Firmino hopes to celebrate "a lot of success" at Anfield and 'can't wait test himself in the Premier League'.

Manchester United 'agree Matteo Darmian fee with Torino'

Manchester United have agreed a fee with Torino for Italy right-back Matteo Darmian, according to Sky Italia sources.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba not joining Barcelona this year

Barcelona have insisted they are "not planning" a move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba this calendar year.

Mail Box

Doesn't Delph To Arsenal Make More Sense?

We have reaction to our Top Ten regarding Philipp Lahm and Dave Mackay, why we all love Harry Kane, Fabian Delph to Arsenal and what United can get away with...

Why Is Kane More Likeable Than Carrick?

A Mailbox which covers topics including Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Robin van Persie, handballs, transfer reporting and Rodgers bingo. It's not us being mean...

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