No vanishing act from Sunderland after Spurs clash

Paolo Di Canio
Paolo Di Canio
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PAOLO DI CANIO has threatened his players with detention at the Academy of Light for ALL of next week, if they are below-par at White Hart Lane.

Sunderland’s squad will not be allowed to vanish when the curtain comes down on the Premier League season against Spurs on Sunday afternoon.

Di Canio has decreed that his charges must return to their Cleadon base and has already pencilled in training sessions early next week, when the players will be expected to say their goodbyes to the non-playing staff at the academy.

But the Sunderland head coach will postpone the day when the Black Cats break up for their summer holidays, should he see a dip in attitude against Champions League-chasing Spurs.

Di Canio told the Echo: “If they don’t deliver, it could be two days or six, seven or eight.

“But it will be two days minimum, even if we win 5-0.

“We have to come back here together as a team and check the condition of everyone.

“And then we have to say thank you to everybody who works so hard during the season from 6am in the morning, like the cleaners, or those who cook the food for them.

“After two training sessions, then they can go.”

Di Canio has made a pro-active decision to avoid allowing his players to go their separate ways following the Sky-televised game in North London.

The Italian believes that if the training programme does not spill over into next week, then his players will be thinking about their holidays before they have even kicked off against Spurs.

“If we go and don’t care, then I’d prefer to play young players than older players who would think they are already on holiday,” he added.

“Before the last game, they used to travel on the plane and, on the flight back, there would only be three players.

“You can imagine during the week, they’d be packing their bags with their wives to go to Cyprus or Malta and don’t think about the game.

“It’s important for me that we fly together, we warm up together, play together and fly back together.

“Then we’ll stay together in the Academy of Light and then, after a few days, they can go.

“Otherwise it’s difficult.”