Sunderland captain John O'Shea says the players have embraced manager Paolo di Canio's disciplined approach.
O'Shea and his team-mates were handed a welcome break this week after their successes against Newcastle and Everton, although the Republic of Ireland international had no complaints about the busy schedule which preceded it.
He said: "Look, the lads would have fully taken to it - they might not have been happy deep down inside, but if it meant keeping your place in the Premier League, the lads wouldn't have any days off.
"There's never a problem like that. We are paid to be professional enough like that, that's never going to be an issue.
"The dedication, as the manager stressed after the game, the application the lads have put in and just the focus and concentration...
"It's not that he wants us running everywhere during the training sessions, just for those few little moments he wants us fully-focussed.
"It's so important because the lads see in what the manager prepares, whether it be little videos on the opposition, little things he thinks we can hopefully take advantage of, and when the lads see it happening in games and watch it back on videos, they really buy into what's going on."