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Alex Neil reflected on a busy first week on Wearside, and explained his comments on squad fitness...


"Obviously there's been a lot to do, it's tough when there's such a tight timeframe we've got in terms of games left, coming into a squad where we're trying to turn form around. So it's been a really busy week for us and we've put a lot into the players in a short space of time."


"I think there's a lot of variables that from the outside you're not aware of until you walk into the building. When I'm talking about fitness levels and the team being disjointed, I just think there's a disproportionate level of fitness."


"There are some lads who have probably played too much football for where they are in their career, and there's other lads that haven't played enough and then they're playing catch-up. At this stage of the season that's difficult to make up, so that's what I was referring to and I think that's been quite obvious, certainly as the game wears on."


"Hopefully by detail and structure, we can help fix that. But there is no quick fix, so what we're hoping is that we can cope with it between now and the end of the season. The difficulty we've got at the moment is selecting a team with enough freshness and legs, and enough understanding to cope with the demands we've got for the next fourteen matches."

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