PAOLO Di Canio has threatened to shorten his players’ summer break if they let him down at Spurs this weekend.
The Black Cats last away game was the 6-1 defeat at Aston Villa and the new head coach is determined to avoid any repetition of that humiliation.
And he said there will be consequences for the players if they try to coast through their last match – especially as Tottenham will be pulling out all the stops on Sunday in a bid to snatch the last Champions League spot form Arsenal.
He said: “I have told them that I won’t judge them on the last game but the last two training sessions.
“That will give me a clear picture about my players because now they know what we want from them.
“I told them we can win, draw or lose with dignity, respecting the club’s name and the fans who follow them.
“But if not I will reduce their holiday.
“I will give them the minimum I can give to them, which is four weeks, 28 days instead of 38 or 40.
“We have to change the mentality.
“Just because I fell into the trap against Aston Villa, I don’t want to fall into that trap again.
“I’m sure four or five individuals don’t need this kind of situation.
“But many of the others must realise we need rules to change the mentality and use punishment in some way.
“Until the day the players can go on to the field and I can remain at home, I have to use any manner to change their mentality.”
With Sunderland now safe, Di Canio wants his players to put down a marker for next season by producing a professional and disciplined performance to be proud of, both in training and on match day..
“We have one game to go and we have to make sure we perform well,” he said.
“Our future starts now - our new mentality.
“I was clear with my players, I will not accept any unprofessional behaviour – my mind goes back to Villa Park when we let ourselves down and we must not do that again.
“The fact is that even with a draw we could still end up sixth from bottom instead of fourth bottom and that is significant not only in how the table looks but in terms of prize money too.”