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Cuellar backs Di Canio fitness plan

2 July 2013 13:16

Carlos Cuellar is confident that Sunderland will be a fitter side in the upcoming Premier League season.

Manager Paolo Di Canio highlighted a lack of fitness within the squad when he took over at the club from Martin O'Neill in March.

However, the Italian has vowed to put his side through a stringent pre-season schedule and Cuellar believes it will pay dividends.

"The way we’ll approach this pre-season, I think it will make us a lot stronger physically," the former Aston Villa defender told The Sunderland Echo.

"In the last few games of last season, you could see the players pick up little injuries or cramp because we were working so hard to win every match."

Cuellar also confirmed that a lack of physical conditioning hampered the side last season as they slumped to a 17th-place finish.

Di Canio's men finished just three points above the drop zone and Cuellar admitted that his team-mates were jaded in certain games.

"Sometimes, you give more than 100 per cent and we didn’t have that extra fitness we needed," he added.

"I don’t think we’re going to have that problem next year."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
13 4 -1 4
14 4 -1 4
15 4 -1 3
16 4 -8 3
17 4 -3 2

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