Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has revealed in the Chronicle the two players who have superior fitness levels in his current squad.
Poyet has also explained how he feels his squad can learn from the example of Chelsea captain John Terry, who was voted as the man of the match in the League Cup final against Tottenham last weekend.
“It is important to let everybody know when he (O’Shea) came back in pre-season he was already fitter than most - him and Giaccherini,” said the boss.
“He proves if you are fit enough and you look after yourself you can play on and perform.”
“Look at the man-of-the-match in the Capital One Cup Final last weekend (34-year-old John Terry).”
The main test for O’Shea, and especially Giaccherini, is how they react when they’re in and out of the side over the course of a season.
It’s difficult for any player to be able to maintain fitness levels when they are forced out of the team whether that’s through suspension or injury.
Giaccherini’s general fitness levels being quite good suggest that when he gets over his ankle problem, he can get involved in the first team much quicker than would be the case with some other players.
One of the reasons Terry has been so effective and something that Sunderland’s players and manager can learn from, is the way he handles himself and the way he’s been handled.
The player has a responsibility to look after himself in relation to his age, while the manager has to judge when he needs a rest and when to leave him in the side to battle against the opposition.
Hopefully the entire Sunderland squad will return after the break at the end of the season in great shape.