Di Canio urges Sunderland fans to 'relax'

The Italian has set about making sweeping changes at the Stadium of Light as he prepares for his first full season in charge but assures supporters that they do not need to worry
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has urged fans to "relax" ahead of the new Premier League season.

The Italian, who took over from Martin O'Neill in March, has already brought in six new players as he looks to completely reshape the squad that he inherited and vows that he will impose a culture of hard work and passion.

"I can only tell the fans one thing, which is to relax," Di Canio told the club's official website.

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"We are going to build a very good team with a very good work ethic, which is crucial.

"The players I select will always wear the shirt with honour, dignity and respect, otherwise they can't play under me. Win, lose or draw, they have to be proud.  

"The fans need to relax because the start of the season will be very hard."

More new faces are expected to arrive at Sunderland between now and the start of the season, with Velez right-back Gino Peruzzi in "advanced negotiations" and AZ confirming on Saturday that they have accepted an offer from the Black Cats for American striker Jozy Altidore.

Di Canio's side head off for a 10-day training camp in Northern Italy on Sunday to continue their preparations before they travel to Hong Kong for the Asia Trophy later in July.