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May 16, 2013

Di Canio threatens to shorten holidays

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is threatening to cut short his players' holidays after the club survived relegation with only a game to spare.

• Blog: Undeserved salvation, thanks to Arsenal - and PDC

Sunderland retained its Premiership credentials after Arsenal sent Wigan down to the Championship via a 4-1 drubbing at the Emirates on Tuesday.

But rather than let his squad celebrate another season in the top flight, Di Canio is prepared to slice their off-season break to ensure another flirtation with the drop is not repeated.

And the Italian has already enforced his hardline stance by demanding his players return to the training paddock following the final game of the season against Tottenham.

"They will come back for a couple of days next week," said Di Canio. "I don't see professionalism if we fly down together on Saturday and then on Sunday they fly here and there. You can imagine their approach if that happens.

"They have 44 days holidays. The minimum I am obliged to give them is 28, four weeks. Forty-four days is incredible. They have already had 100 days probably.

"I don't want to say 28 because for the modern football generation they will say this is too tough, 35 or 38. If anybody has booked a holiday for Monday, they are going to lose some money. Why would they book a holiday on Monday? They are not being serious, they have to ask me.

"If somebody gave them a chance to organise a holiday in January or February it is wrong, they will lose 50 per cent of their money. I will see what happens on Sunday, then we will come back together, and I will tell them when their holidays start."

Di Canio also admitted the club has introduced fines for players breaking club rules in an attempt to change the club's culture.

"It happened many times before, but now they are fined because you have to start from somewhere or we're never going to change," Di Canio said.

"It is small things, but many small things become a big problem. We have to respect the rules or we are never going to change."

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