Larsson hails success in integrating Sunderland’s new signings

Seb Larsson.
Seb Larsson.

SEB LARSSON says Sunderland’s work overseas has proved crucial to integrating Paolo Di Canio’s new signings into the fold.

The Black Cats have spent more time abroad than on Wearside during pre-season after a 10-day training camp in Italy was followed by a week in Hong Kong for the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Di Canio’s side will dust off their passports again this week, with Sunderland facing their final friendly of the summer in Denmark against FC Midtjylland on Wednesday night.

But far from being travel sick, midfielder Larsson believes Sunderland’s pre-season schedule has been beneficial for Di Canio’s new-look squad.

Sunderland have added eight players to their first-team squad so far this summer and Larsson says the time away has presented the opportunity for the fresh faces to bond with their new team-mates.

Larsson told the Echo: “I think they’ve all settled in really well.

“We’ve been away for a long time during the summer and, in that way, we’ve been able to get to know them and them to know us.

“It seems like they’ve all settled in and a couple of them have already showed what they can do and what they can bring to the team.”

Sunderland’s new boys have enjoyed plenty of time to adapt to Di Canio’s strategy for the new season, with 12 days still to go before the Premier League gets underway.

And Larsson says there has been sufficient encouragement from the signings to suggest they will be a success at the Stadium of Light.

The Swedish international added: “Pre-season is all about getting to know how the new players play – how the likes of Manny Giaccherini and Jozy Altidore like to play.

“We’re trying to change the way we play football this season; be more attacking and be better on the ball.

“And, in glimpses, we’ve been able to do that.

“But they’re definitely good players and they’ll bring a lot to the team.”