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

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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o Daniel, we're f***ed next season

footyfan52
Sturridge: We're moving on

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

Footer 365

Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hinted that it will take time for him to be successful at Old Trafford, claiming he may struggle for the first three months...

Transfer news: Former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho to name new club

Ronaldinho is set to announce he has joined a new club after parting company with Atletico Mineiro.

Transfer News: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal looking to sign a defender

Louis van Gaal was happy with Manchester United's performance against Inter but confirmed he wants a new defender.

Mail Box

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

Youth Development Has To Be The Future

A varied Mailbox has thoughts on transfer targets, youth development, the obsession over 3-5-2, some innovative Blackpool suggestions and why Real bought Kroos...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property