Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has urged the club’s fans to “relax” as he rebuilds his squad.
The Italian has already drafted in five new signings and is hoping for several more with United States international striker Jozy Altidore on Wearside today for a medical.
However, while he and his recruitment team have made significant progress, he knows there is still work to be done, and that the supporters will be desperate for news.
Di Canio told the club’s official website, www.safc.com: “In terms of fans, I was a fanatical fan when I was younger so I can understand their feeling, I know they want to know what’s going on.
“[The fans may feel] we need a striker, a right-back, a left back, and it will be the same when we win two in a row and they think maybe we can go into the Europa League.
“They will dream, they will go hungry, they will be upset, but I can tell them only one thing – relax.”
Di Canio is not only looking for talented players during his summer shopping mission, but men with the character he wants to take the club forward.
He found that in his most dependable performers at the end of last season as the Black Cats managed to stave off relegation, and his newcomers will have to buy into the same philosophy.
Di Canio said: “We are going to build a very, very good team with a very good work ethic.
“That will be crucial on the field – we are going to face the opponents, we are going to challenge the opponents.
“My team and the players I select will always have to wear this shirt with honour, dignity and respect, otherwise they can’t play under me.
“The fans have to be proud when we finish the game even if we lose, because unfortunately, we are going to lose a few games.
“All the individuals wearing the shirt need to make the fans proud because this is the minimum that we can do because we have a big privilege to wear the shirt.
“I can’t anymore, but I can participate in a different way and determinate something for thousands and thousands of people.
“They have to stay relaxed because once again at the start of the season, on August 17, they will be happy.”