Cana finds the perfect mix

05 December 2009 09:50
LORIK CANA believes that the perfect footballing hybrid has been created in the Premier League, combining the flair of players from Latin America and Europe with English fighting spirit.

The Sunderland skipper has great admiration for the quality of football in this country particularly players' strength of character and has noted that in order to survive the league's physical demands foreign players must adapt to the local conditions.

Sunderland have been accused of not showing consistent fighting qualities on their travels this season and Cana admits the team must balance their desire to attack with an ability to grind out performances.

In the Premier League there are a lot of foreign players but the mentality part is one of the strongest things about English football, said Cana.

Sometimes when a Latin American comes in or someone from Eastern Europe he brings his own qualities but tries to take this mentality and that is why he becomes a better player.

By mentality, I mean passion and trying to instil the fighting spirit, all those kind of things which are the characteristic of English football.

You have South Americans, Africans, Eastern Europeans, Asiatic players sometimes and a lot from Western Europe.

Players who come from another country when they arrive in the UK, they take this mentality. They take their own qualities on to the pitch but with this new mentality.'' Cana's burgeoning partnership with Lee Cattermole was one of the key factors behind Sunderland's bright start to the campaign before the Teessider damaged his knee ligaments during October's 1-0 win over Liverpool.

The early-than-predicted return of his fellow enforcer is expected to restore some fire to the Black Cats.

I think the biggest quality for this team, especially for the North East, is the heart,'' added Cana. We play with passion and we attack very well.

But that is why the word balance is so important. It's not just in football, it's in everything. Sometimes we have lost that.

In our biggest games against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal and our one away win we had that balance.

We have to keep that all the time. At Sunderland, we do not have that yet in some away games. We need to work harder.

Source: Northern_Echo