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Friday, 11 October, 2002, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Wilkinson bans mobiles
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson
There will be no hands-free mobiles either
New Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson has revealed the first victim of his crackdown at the Stadium of Light - mobile phones.

Wilkinson, renowned for his no-nonsense approach, plans to ban players from using mobile phones at the training ground as he attempts to instil a sense of urgency at the club.

And the 58-year-old, along with assistant Steve Cotterill, will be making sure the players' minds are fully focused on the massive task that awaits them.

He said: "My first move will be to ban mobile phones - and that's serious.


We have to make sure that mentally they are well-prepared
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson

"That's the only rule there will be: don't bring your mobile phone to work, or if you do turn if off.

"We will prepare the players in a way that's as modern and forward-thinking as anywhere in the world, I can guarantee that, but that alone is not the answer.

"We want players who know the score that the only way our opponents get anything is over their dead bodies."

Wilkinson said that would mean a 'back to basics' approach at first.

He added: "I know that both of us are well up with the times - in some cases ahead of the times.

"But fundamentally here we have got to get down to shifting away from where we are and at the start that's going to be a lot of ABC stuff, we have to get some of those basics right.

"The most important muscle in your body is your brain. If that's not right, no matter what you do on the pitch, in training, in the gym is going to make any difference.

"We have to make sure that physically they are well prepared and tactically well-prepared but also that mentally they are well-prepared. That's part of modern management."

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Will Howard Wilkinson keep Sunderland up?

Yes
 25.93% 

No
 74.07% 

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