Sunderland’s squad are working from 9am until 6pm under manager Paolo Di Canio’s gruelling pre-season routine.
Black Cats skipper John O’Shea has given an insight into the club’s new working hours. And it sounds like the players’ shopping and gaming schedules have been severely affected.
The squad reports for training at 9am for two morning fitness sessions. They then eat lunch together and rest before heading onto the training pitch at 4pm for a football-based session.
O’Shea said: “It’s been intense. When we came back in for pre-season, the manager said, ‘It’s a revolution.’ Two sessions in the morning, and then plenty of rest and good food. Then we go again late in the afternoon.
“Lads were coming and going. Signing, leaving. The new lads were quite determined to prove themselves, it’s like a fresh start for everyone.
“Di Canio is very ambitious, very hungry. I’ve seen his appetite for the training sessions and the work he puts in and the detail he works to. He’s intense but I’ve never met a manager who isn’t. He wants to make a mark on his team. He’s got that passion, you see it on the sidelines and team talks.
“He’s been hands on – he doesn’t like to be called the manager, does he? He’s the coach – involved in everything, even strength sessions! He keeps himself in good nick.”
Di Canio is promising to produce the fittest Sunderland team to have ever taken to the field.