Carlos Cuellar ready to take on Sunderland fitness challenge

Cuellar ready for fitness challenge
© PA Photos
Carlos Cuellar believes that Sunderland will benefit from intense training sessions during pre-season.

Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar is confident that he and his teammates will benefit from manager Paolo Di Canio's gruelling pre-season training sessions.

Cuellar believes that the Black Cats, who narrowly escaped relegation from the Premier League last season, will be in better shape come the business end of the 2013-14 campaign.

"The way we'll approach this pre-season, I think it will make us a lot stronger physically," Cuellar told the Shields Gazette.

"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.

"Sometimes you give more than 100% and we didn't have that extra fitness we needed. I don't think we're going to have that problem next year."

Cuellar will be joined by a new defender next season following the club's acquisition of Modibo Diakite on a three-year deal.

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Lazio's Modibo Diakite sit on the pitch during the Europa League match against FC Vaslui on December 1, 2011
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