Craig Gardner dismisses Paolo Di Canio fitness claims

Craig Gardner celebrates with Sebastian Larsson moments after scoring on December 2, 2012
© PA Photos
Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner dismisses claims made by manager Paolo Di Canio that he and his teammates are in poor physical condition.

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner has dismissed claims by manager Paolo Di Canio that he and his teammates aren't fit enough.

The Black Cats boss revealed that he thought his side were in poor condition following their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.

Gardner told reporters: "There's been people talking and chatting about this, but it's a load of rubbish.

"The gaffer's come in and it's the same. Every football club has to work hard. We're working hard — we have to if we want to stay in the Premier League.

"I don't know where this has come from, that Paolo Di Canio will work us harder, because at any club, there's only one place you'll be found out, and that's on the pitch."

Sunderland are 17th in the Premier League and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

New Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio on the touchline during the match against Chelsea on April 7, 2013
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