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

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

League Two round-up: Tranmere and Cheltenham relegated to Conference

Shrewsbury secured promotion to League One by beating Cheltenham, whose relegation fate was sealed along with Tranmere.

Liverpool were 'outstanding', says boss Brendan Rodgers after West Brom draw

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool were 'outstanding' after their 0-0 draw against West Brom.

Man City 3-2 Aston Villa: Brad Guzan drops howler before Fernandinho strikes late as City go second

Fernandinho struck in the 89th minute to hand Manchester City a dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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