Di Canio vows to end Sunderland's injury nightmare

The former Swindon Town boss is confident that his strict fitness regime, brought in over the summer, will ensure far fewer strains and knocks over the season to come
Paolo Di Canio has vowed that his fitness regime will put Sunderland's injury nightmares behind them.

The Premier League outfit have been beset by injuries to key players in previous seasons, with the likes of Steven Fletcher, Lee Cattermole, Fraizer Campbell and Kieran Richardson all struggling to see out entire seasons in previous years.

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Di Canio has instilled a strict fitness and diet regime at the club since taking over in March and, after his first pre-season in charge, expects to see a drop in the number of injuries during 2013-14.

"I promise that this club will have fewer injuries than it used to," he told reporters. "We have worked hard on fitness,and fitness levels are all-important if you are to maintain quality for long periods of the game and for many games, consistently.

"The majority of the squad had just one day off training all summer but I think this is a good thing because, in my view, if you train hard, you have less, not more, chance of injury.

"Of course we will have an injury or two at some stage, I'm not saying we won't but what I am saying is that, with the fitness levels we have, we will pick up far fewer injuries over the course of the season and that has got to benefit us in the long run."

Sunderland currently have five players out due to injury, two of them - Wes Brown and Cattermole - long-term absentees.