Di Canio is not blinkered about the challenge ahead for his side.
Following a disappointing 2012/13 campaign for Sunderland, that saw the club finish one place outside the relegation zone and sack manager Martin O’Neill, new boss Paolo Di Canio has admitted there is still a lot of work to be done to improve.
The new Premier League season is less than two months away and after the release of the fixture list for next year, Di Canio has revealed he is determined to make the Black Cats a success.
“I’m very excited and of course it’s fantastic to start at home in front of our own fans [Sunderland play Fulham at the Stadium of Light on the first day of the season],” the Italian told the club’s website.
“But there is a lot of work to do between now and Fulham; there are many steps.
“We have to integrate the new players into the team, continue to build and develop our squad and complete our pre-season training.
“There is a lot of hard work.”
Di Canio and his newly appointed director of football Roberto Di Fanti – formerly of Inter Milan – have been busy in the transfer market already and have signed no fewer than four players.
Lazio’s Modibo Diakite, Cabral of FC Basel and Valentin Roberge from Maritimo are all joining the club on free transfers, whilst Goteburg striker David Moberg Karlsson has been acquired for £1.5m.
These new additions have been brought in after Di Canio refused to offer former first team stars Titus Bramble and Matthew Kilgallon new contracts at the club.
It’s clear that a relegation battle is not on the agenda for the former Swindon Town manager and the Sunderland players could be in for a long, hard summer ahead in preparation.