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Di Canio using pre-season to instil wining mentality in Sunderland

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio will use the Barclays Asia Trophy trip to Hong Kong to instil a competitive streak in his team. Speaking in a video interview with the Premier League website, he said: "I want to win every game. Even when we have a friendly game, I have a winning mentality.

"Even when I play cards with my daughter, I want to win every time. I want to upset her because I want to win. My mentality is to win every game.

"There are obvious priorities: the Premier League is more important than friendly games, but only if we deliver this mentality can we take every competition seriously.

"So the Barclays Asia tournament is very important because we are going to face the top sides and it's the dream of every player - this is the mission: to play every game against a top side.

"The fact that we have the chance to do this in Hong Kong means only the country changes, not the desire, the commitment that we have to deliver on the field, so it's a good opportunity.

"We want to win the tournament and we will do everything we can." The Italian added: "My primary objective is to be the team that will fight every single game together, so for this we have to spend as much as we can the time together to bond and to become a very united team.

"I want to deliver my message in the way we want to play - the tactical strategy - to deliver a clear identity in the way we want to play, and this period can help me a lot because we have the chance to stay all day together.

"We can do double sessions, then some friendly games and when something goes wrong, I can have a chat with them straight away rather than when you are during the season after the training session they run away.

"This is a very important period for every coach because the first input, the first period, the first months are crucial and those two months can decide the outcome and the destiny of the season."

About the author

Dave Williams

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