A week of intense scrutiny and little time for preparation has caged Paolo Di Canio and forced him to blame his sides defeat at Chelsea on poor fitness levels.
In his post-match interview, Di Canio bemoaned his sides apparent lack of fitness, telling reporters: "This team in this moment is not one that can play Chelsea for 95 minutes."
The charismatic Italian saw his side slip to a narrow defeat after own goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Matt Kilgallon either side of half time had the game poised at 1-1.
A driven shot from David Luiz after a Chelsea corner was cleared somehow found it's way into Simon Mignolet's goal after Branislav Ivanovic pivoted as the ball hit him and luckily wrong-footed the Belgian to give the Blues the lead after 55 minutes.
Di Canio didn't fail in his touchline support of his new side, but the much maligned Black Cats boss clearly needed a scapegoat after his side should have got off to a better start in the Italian's Premier League management debut.
The ex-Swindon Town boss was rightly annoyed at his side's surrender of a crucial lead, but instead laid the blame on fitness rather than individual mistakes and a poor start to the second half.
"It's not the fittest team in the world. We are going to work in the next few days and weeks to give them more energy," he added.
Undoubtedly the away side were much improved from last weeks woeful display at home to Manchester United, but the game was lost because of bad luck and poor defending.
Chelsea were playing their 57th competitive game this season, whilst Sunderland were involved in just their 37th.
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